National Assembly (Bulgaria)

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National Assembly
Народно събрание
Narodnо sаbranie
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Tsetska TsachevaGERB
since 27 October 2014
Structure
Seats 240
Political groups

Government (118)

Parties Supporting the Government (19)

Opposition (103)

Elections
Last election
5 October 2014
Meeting place
National Assembly, Sofia
Website
parliament.bg

The National Assembly (Bulgarian: Народно събрание, Narodno sabranie) is the unicameral parliament and body of the legislative of Bulgaria.

The National Assembly was established in 1879 with the Tarnovo Constitution.

Ordinary National Assembly[edit]

Coat of arms of Bulgaria.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bulgaria

The National Assembly consists of 240 members elected for a four-year term elected by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies. Political parties must gather a minimum of 4% of the national vote in order to enter the Assembly. Bulgaria has a multi-party system.

The Assembly is responsible for enactment of laws, approval of the budget, scheduling of presidential elections, selection and dismissal of the Prime Minister and other ministers, declaration of war, concluding peace and deployment of troops outside of Bulgaria, and ratification of international treaties and agreements. It is headed and presided by the Chairperson of the National Assembly of Bulgaria.

The Assembly administers the publication of the State Gazette, Bulgaria's gazette of record.

Procedure[edit]

By the Constitution, the National Assembly is inaugurated by the eldest elected member of Parliament. On the first day of sitting, he or she presides over the election of the Speaker (Chairperson) and two deputies.[8]

Once elected, the Speakers retain their party allegiances, which means that they remain as MPs and are allowed to take part in debates and voting.

121 MPs must be present in order for any session to commence, and 50%+1 of those present must vote "for" any point of order or bill to be approved.

Ministers may be chosen from among the MPs or they may be experts outside Parliament. All MPs picked to be Cabinet ministers lose their MP status, and other members from their party are called up to Parliament to fill the seats they vacate.

Parliament sits Wednesday to Friday, and sessions begin at 9 am. Parliamentary committees sit in the afternoons.

Layout[edit]

The Chamber is made up of 286 seats, all facing the 5-seat speaker's bench in a 26 x 11 arrangement. In front of the Speaker, also facing the chamber, is the pulpit, in front of which is the stenographers' desk.

Parties sit in parliamentary groups, loosely following the rule that the political left sit to the Speaker's left and the political right to his right. Generally, the largest parties choose the left, right or centre wings of the chamber, with smaller blocks accommodating themselves wherever convenient. Individual MPs will sometimes sit entirely outside of their block or stand, and, since compulsory electronic registration was implemented, may even vote from any seat in the house.

To the speaker's right, also facing the chamber, is a section with 17 seats reserved for the Cabinet, any of whom may or may not be present at any time during a parliamentary session. Any of them may, however, be called up by Parliament at any time if needed.[9]

Grand National Assembly[edit]

The fist National Assembly of Bulgaria in Veliko Tarnovo

In addition to the ordinary National Assembly, a Grand National Assembly (Велико народно събрание, Veliko narodno sabranie) may be convened in order for matters of special jurisdiction, such as: 1) Adoption of a new Constitution; 2) Amendment of certain articles of the Constitution, e.g. those related with the basic civil rights; 3) Changes in the territory (gain or loss) of the Republic, etc. Before the World War II the Grand National Assembly was also competent in electing the Regency of the Bulgarian Kingdom if the tzar has not come to age. The First and the Third Grand National Assemblies also elected the first two Bulgarian monarchs after the liberation from the Turkish yoke – Prince (Knjaz) Alexander Battenberg and Prince (Knjaz) Ferdinand Saxe Coburg-Gotha.

As an organ, the Grand National Assembly was introduced with the Tarnovo Constitution of 1879, abolished in 1947 and reintroduced with the 1991 constitution. In different constitutional provisions, it was constituted by a different number of representatives. According to the 1991 Constitution, it consists of 400 deputies (as opposed to 240 in the ordinary one). The 1991 Constitution was adopted by the Seventh Grand National Assembly and was composed of 200 members being elected by proportional representation and the other 200 by majoritarian representation. The Constitution provides that the elections for Grand National Assembly shall be conducted in the same manner as those for the Ordinary National Assembly.

A qualified majority of 2/3 during three voting procedures on separate dates is required for a decision to be made. The Grand National Assembly can also serve as an ordinary National Assembly, taking care of regular legislative activities, in urgent cases only. After it has concluded its work on the matter for which it was elected, the Grand National Assembly is dissolved ex lege and the President of the Republic shall appoint elections for an ordinary National Assembly.

A total of seven Grand National Assemblies have been in operation in Bulgaria, the last one from 10 July 1990 to 12 July 1991 adopting the current constitution.

Building[edit]

Another view from Tsar Osvoboditel.

The National Assembly's main building has been proclaimed a monument of culture for its historic significance. Situated in downtown Sofia, it was designed in Neo-Renaissance style by Konstantin Jovanović, a Serbian-Bulgarian architect who received his education in Vienna and Switzerland and whose other works include the Parliament of Serbia building. It was constructed between 1884 and 1886 by Friederich Wilhelm Gustav Liebe, a young builder from Saxony who was only 22 years old when construction began.[10]The site on which the building is now situated used to be a Turkish cemetery.[11]The building was originally painted in an off-white hue, but since the latter part of the 20th Century has been white. [12]

The building is depicted on the reverse of the Bulgarian 20 leva banknote, issued in 1999 and 2007.[13]

Office house of the National Assembly (Former House of the BCP)

Due to insufficient space in the main building at Parliament Square, some administrative offices of the National Assembly are now housed by the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, located at the Largo. There has been a proposal that the entire National Assembly be permanently moved to the old Party house building, with its inner courtyard being converted into an interior space for the plenary chamber.[14]

List of National Assemblies[edit]

Parliament Term Seats
Constituent Assembly 10 February 187916 April 1879 231
1 Grand National Assembly 17 April 187926 June 1879 231
1 Ordinary National Assembly 21 October 187924 November 1879 158
2 Ordinary National Assembly 23 March 188018 December 1880 172
2 Grand National Assembly 7 January 1881 307
3 Ordinary National Assembly 10 December 188225 December 1883 47
4 Ordinary National Assembly 27 June 18846 September 1886 195/286
3 Grand National Assembly 19 October 18863 August 1887 493
5 Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 188717 December 1889 285
6 Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 189015 December 1892 276
4 Grand National Assembly 3 May 189317 May 1893 577
7 Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 189321 December 1893 145
8 Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 18944 February 1896 149
9 Ordinary National Assembly 1 December 189619 December 1898 159
10 Ordinary National Assembly 16 May 189929 November 1900 169
11 Ordinary National Assembly 22 February 190123 December 1901 166
12 Ordinary National Assembly 22 April 190231 March 1903 188
13 Ordinary National Assembly 2 November 190322 December 1907 189
14 Ordinary National Assembly 15 June 190815 February 1911 203
5 Grand National Assembly 9 June 19119 July 1911 414
15 Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 191123 July 1913 213
16 Ordinary National Assembly 19 December 191331 December 1913 204
17 Ordinary National Assembly 20 March 191415 April 1919 257
18 Ordinary National Assembly 2 October 191920 February 1920 237
19 Ordinary National Assembly 15 April 192011 March 1923 232
20 Ordinary National Assembly 21 May 192311 June 1923 245
21 Ordinary National Assembly 9 December 192315 April 1927 267
22 Ordinary National Assembly 19 June 192718 April 1931 275
23 Ordinary National Assembly 20 August 193119 May 1934 283
24 Ordinary National Assembly 22 May 193827 April 1939 160
25 Ordinary National Assembly 24 February 194023 August 1944 160
26 Ordinary National Assembly 15 December 194528 September 1946 276
6 Grand National Assembly 7 November 194621 October 1949 465(375)
1 National Assembly 17 January 19502 November 1953 239
2 National Assembly 14 January 195411 December 1957 249
3 National Assembly 13 January 19584 November 1961 254
4 National Assembly 15 March 19628 December 1965 321
5 National Assembly 11 March 196618 May 1971 416
6 National Assembly 7 July 19719 March 1976 400
7 National Assembly 15 June 19767 April 1981 400
8 National Assembly 16 June 198121 March 1986 400
9 National Assembly 17 June 19863 April 1990 400
7 Grand National Assembly 10 July 19902 October 1991 400
36 National Assembly 4 November 199117 October 1994 240
37 National Assembly 12 January 199513 February 1997 240
38 National Assembly 7 May 199719 April 2001 240
39 National Assembly 5 July 200117 June 2005 240
40 National Assembly 11 July 200525 June 2009 240
41 National Assembly 14 July 200913 March 2013 240
42 National Assembly 21 May 20136 August 2014 240
43 National Assembly 27 October 2014 – incumbent 240

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Bulgaria: EPP President welcomes new coalition government led by Boyko Borissov (EN+BG)". http://www.epp.eu/. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bulgarian parties approve coalition agreement, cabinet". http://www.euractiv.com/. EurActiv. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "GERB and Reformist block finally sign a coalition agreement, the new cabinet to be voted today". www.ffbh.bg. FFBH. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Bulgaria: EPP President welcomes new coalition government led by Boyko Borissov (EN+BG)". http://www.epp.eu/. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bulgarian parties approve coalition agreement, cabinet". http://www.euractiv.com/. EurActiv. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "GERB and Reformist block finally sign a coalition agreement, the new cabinet to be voted today". www.ffbh.bg. FFBH. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Bulgaria's GERB Party Signs Partnership Deal with Left-Wing ABV
  8. ^ Inaugural Session, 42nd National Assembly, 21 May 2013, parliament.bg. Retrieved Oct 2013
  9. ^ Raykov Cabinet (88th Government) sitting in Parliament (article), 22 May 2013 Retrieved Oct 2013.
  10. ^ Gervas, Stan (2004) [1991]. Five Graves in Dalwallinu. Maylands: Gervas Books. pp. 15–21. ISBN 0-646-06820-2. 
  11. ^ BNT World: "The Unknown Parliament" 5 October 2014
  12. ^ Parliament, turn of the 19/20th century, stara-sofia.com, retrieved Oct 2013.
  13. ^ Bulgarian National Bank. Notes and Coins in Circulation: 20 leva (1999 issue) & 20 leva (2007 issue). – Retrieved on 26 March 2009.
  14. ^ Competition for new Plenary Hall, NI Consult, 2009. Retrieved Oct 2013.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]