Fri, 25 Sep 2020

SOFIA -- After more than a month of protests calling for his resignation, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has called for the convening of a grand national assembly to consider and adopt a new constitution.

"It is time not only to change the political system but to restart the country," Borisov said in a televised address on August 14, noting that the current constitution had been adopted "in a different historical period for different political circumstances."

Borisov also said he is prepared to step down as soon as parliament sets a date for new elections. The elections are currently set for March 2021.

The prime minister said the ruling GERB party had already drafted a new constitution that called for reducing the number of parliament deputies from 240 to 120 and overhauling the judiciary to make it more independent, while also boosting the accountability of prosecutors and judges.

Two-thirds of parliament would be required to approve the convocation of a grand national assembly.

Protesters, who accuse the government of corruption and undermining state institutions, issued a statement calling Borisov's proposal "yet another attempt to win time."

Thousands of protesters have been gathering regularly in central Sofia since the beginning of July calling for Borisov and chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev to step down.

On July 21, Borisov's government survived a no-confidence vote in parliament, the fifth such vote since it took power in 2017.

With reporting by The Guardian

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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