Bulgarian Parliament balks at Turkey EU accession referendum

The Bulgarian Parliament has cited legislation inadequacies as a reason not to delay the scheduling of a referendum on Turkey’s EU accession. After debates on the referendum petition tabled by the nationalist party VMRO, which is backed by 330 000 signatures, the Parliament decided that the administrative population census directorate “GRAO” must establish the legitimacy of at least 200 000 of the submitted signatures.

The motion was approved with 119 votes in favor, which came from the ruling center-right party GERB and the opposition ethnic Turkish party DPS, and 25 abstained from the Socialist Party. GERB’s staunchest ally, the nationalists from “Ataka” left the plenary hall in protest, which has been one more indication that the issue of Turkey’s EU membership could cause a rift in Bulgaria’s informal ruling coalition.

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