Photographer: Velko Angelov/Bloomberg

Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Resigns Before Nation Assumes EU Presidency

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Bulgarian parliament’s Speaker Dimitar Glavchev stepped down after the opposition Socialists accused him of censorship and demanded his resignation, seven weeks before the Black Sea nation assumes the rotating European Union presidency.

Shortly after his departure, parliament appointed Glavchev’s deputy Tsveta Karayancheva as speaker in a vote of 138 to 3 with 71 abstentions. Both are lawmakers from Bulgaria’s ruling Gerb party.

“This is a moral gesture that will help restore the normal parliamentary environment and not throw a shadow over the forthcoming EU presidency,” Glavchev told lawmakers in Sofia on Friday.

The Socialists had said they’d boycott parliament’s sessions until Glavchev resigned. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani is due to visit next week, addressing the Bulgarian assembly on Nov. 21.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who leads Gerb, said his party overcame a plot by the opposition to destabilize the country before Tajani’s visit and the EU presidency. Borissov took office in May, forming his third cabinet in eight years, pledging to raise living standards in the EU’s poorest state.

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