Bulgarian Premier Shuffles Cabinet between protest and oyster bid

The Bulgarian prime minister has called for his resignation over allegations of corruption and changed his cabinet to ease the ongoing political crisis.

The main opposition party in the Balkans on Wednesday launched a no-confidence motion against Premier Boyko Borisov and his team as protests continue over its failure to fight high-level corruption. The Balkan member of the European Union has been repeatedly criticized for failing to curb organized crime and uphold the rule of law.

In a statement, Borisov's Gernab party called for the resignation of Finance Minister Vladislav Goronov, Finance Minister Emil Karanikolov and Interior Minister Mladen Marinov, saying they were acting under the influence of another political power controversial businessman. The three ministers said they would submit their resignations on Thursday.

The move comes amid a crisis between Borisov and President Ruman Ramdev. The latter asked the chief and chief prosecutor to resign, and accused Borisov of having illicit relations with wealthy oligarchs. Borisov denies drone downing.

"Borisov has created a parallel state and it is realistically running," the Socialist Party told reporters in Sofia, "Cornelia Ninova, whose Socialist Party initiated the no-confidence motion." We call this oligarchy a model who wants to destroy mafia governance. "

Prime Minister Borisov has said three times that his government is under attack from powerful businessmen who are trying to fight criminal investigations. He argued that the government would weaken the government’s ability to withstand the economic collapse of coronaviruses.

The Socialists did not have enough lawyers to bring such a fifth vote out of the cabinet, a vote of confidence they faced. But the pressure is mounting, with thousands of people walking the streets of the capital, Sofia, over the past week. "Mafia out!" Protesters demanded the resignation of both Borisov and Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev.

Borisov has already resigned twice after protests against austerity measures in 2013 and his party's defeat in the 2016 presidential election - preparing himself to do so again before next year's parliamentary vote.

"The division in the country is very strong and I do not know how we will cross in the next few months," Borisov said before removing the ministers. "The financial crisis is coming fast. The state needs to be consolidated."

Borisov worked to raise living standards and move Bulgaria forward on the path to adopting the euro.

But he was embarrassed by allegations of corruption scandals, investigations into former and current ministers and leaking of wiretaps, allegations of abuse of power. Bulgaria ranks last among EU countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.

Rodev, whose character is largely symbolic, has been openly critical of high-ranking officials' investigations into the fight against corruption and the government's poor progress.

Although Geshev is challenging that defense in the Constitutional Court and attacked his offices during an investigation into a presidential aide last week, the president is gaining immunity from investigation and prosecution.

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