June 29, 2018 / 6:30 AM / 3 months ago

Bulgarian government survives no-confidence vote in parliament

SOFIA (Reuters) - The Bulgarian government survived a parliamentary vote of no confidence on Friday brought by the opposition Socialists, who said the administration had failed to combat crime and made little progress in streamlining its security services.

FILE PHOTO - Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borissov arrives to take part in an emergency European Union leaders summit on immigration, in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

Some 131 deputies in the 240-seat parliament voted against the no-confidence motion and in favor of the center-right government led by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov; 104 deputies voted for the motion.

Political analysts saw the motion as a sign the Socialists are getting ready to take on Borissov’s government next year, when elections for the European Parliament as well as local elections are due.

The Socialists accused the government of failing to impose strict rule of law, pointing out the brazen assassinations of a senior tax official and a businessman remain unsolved.

The Socialists also have highlighted the escape of two men convicted of murder who went out the main entrance of Sofia prison in broad daylight in April. Two months later, one of them was killed in a shooting with another criminal in his hometown.

The ruling GERB party has dismissed, saying the Socialists had made no policy suggestion and were trying to overshadow Bulgaria’s first term as president of the European Council.

Shortcomings in combating high-level graft and organized crime are keeping the Balkan country out of the European Union’s Schengen open-border system and are considered a serious obstacle to Bulgaria’s joining the euro.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova and Angel Krasimirov; editing by Jan Harvey, Larry King

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