Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

BULGARIA'S CONSTITUTIONAL GARMENTS HAVE BECOME TIGHT

Within twelve years the Bulgarian Constitution has proved that it could provoke any kind of political scandals. And something more - that it works as a whole, which means that it is altogether good. As anything good, it could become better if improved here and there. Some of its shortcomings, created not because of the principle but because of individuals, took revenge on the drafters. Thus, George Pirinski failed to become president, as the requirement to the candidate to be a Bulgarian citizen who has lived in this country in the last five years (intended for Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) hit as a boomerang the socilists' nominee during the presidential elections in 1996. This revenge of the Constitution, seen from the point of view of the present day, becomes sweeter as Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was elected Premier. An essential moment regarding the proposals for constitutional amendments over the years of the transition is that the question for changing the form of the State's government has never been raised. Even the liberal former president Zhelyu Zhelev, when launching the idea for a presidential republic, only compared it with the parliamentary republic and underlined the advantages of that form of state government over the other.The invitation for NATO-membership and Bulgaria's reorganization to comply with the Alliance requirements, have necessitated some constitutional amendments, connected with giving a permission for the passing of foreign troops through this country's territory. Presently, the Parliament is entitled to give such a permission, and not the Council of Ministers, as the incumbent Government wants. The reply of the Constitutional Court to President Parvanov's inquiry if art. 84, item 11 and art. 85, item 1 of the Constitution should be changed, will give another occasion for discussing the necessity of constitutional amendments. Let's not forget that a temporary parliamentary commission has already been set up in order to discuss and sort out all ideas and proposals for changes in the Constitution, starting with UDF's 20 items and reaching tha drama regarding the reform of the judiciary. The problem is that everybody wants different changes in the Constitution, and without serious pressure, mostly from outside, not a single majority in any ordinary parliament could do that. No matter how much some people like the first democratic product, it is in garments that have become tight for the amount of the changes.

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