Marc Bichler is a lawyer by training and a Luxembourg diplomat by choice
Let's say that the Prime Minister Borissov sincerely desire to make real justice reform and to amend the Constitution. And let`s say that simply the lack of votes needed to implement changes in the presented motions, in which they were introduced and were meaningful/rational. It seems that in order to secure the votes of the DPS and the required majority, the reform must be crippled and devoid of sence. I.e.
Borisov has to choose - pseudo amendments or none.
But what ifthese are not the only options available to him and there is other way out of this situation? Let's look at what are the possible scenarios:
Scenario 1: The consensus of the status quo.
This is the motion moved by DPS is to do little amendments and in such a lame way that the reform looks more like standing still than moving forward. For that kind of reform can be achieved nominal consensus of 180+ MPs if Reformist bloc is willing to join. This will push/shove the “reform” in the fast track and it could be completed by the end of September by three ballots and by three separate readings.
Scenario 2: Russian Roulette.
This is a variant in which on Friday original motion, which the government made in May and which gives a more complete reform, albeit not decisive enough, according to many, is voted. Previews are void little chance to collect 160 votes in support of this bill. But "Russian Roulette" can be played by the majority expecting that under the "barrel" of political responsibility to the citizens and Europe for the failed reform, individual dissidents or whole groups from the opposition will join importers and will collect the required votes. The reform will maintain a relatively comprehensive form, but it'll be a "slow lane" - with two months delay and a long battle between the first and second reading. When luck can go to the end of the year.
Scenario 3: Democratic outcome.
Nobody talks about it, but it requires least majority and will enable citizens finally to take matters into their own hands in such an important topic. Of course, it`s about subjecting the bill to amend the Constitution submitted by the government in May, to a referendum. People can be asked: "Do you accept the bill for amendment in the Constitution?" - Yes / No.
Law for direct participation of citizens in government and local government (ZPUGDVMS) allowed polls for making amendments to the Constitution. With some exceptions, which in this case affects only the Inspectorate to the Supreme Judicial Council . This is surmountable by amendment in law or by accepting amendments for the Inspectorate by the Parliament, which won`t be difficult, because for them there is a consensus of 180+. The law can and should be amended also to quorum requirements or what percentage of the electorate must vote to make a binding decision.
This outcome, besides being the most democratic, is with the lowest political cost. It takes no more than 121 MPs to decide on referendum and amend ZPUGDVMS in a way making it possible a valid decision to be issued. This is within the reach of the majority as long as they desired it. Of course, it is necessary and a positive will of the sovereign, in which we can have no doubt. This option can take place in late October, when it is most likely to be held local elections. Once adopted the decision of the referendum, has a force of law and does not need further approval.
Scenario 4: Moving forward!
Of course, there is an option, in which constitutional changes fall into knockout and amendments to the Constitution simply aren`t accepted. Then it is possible to move on to reforms that do not include repair of the Basic Law. The progress that can be achieved in this way shouldn`t be underestimated, but the fundamental problems, such as political relationships, lack of mechanisms for responsibility and accountability of the judiciary, particularly the prosecution, will remain. Because they are governed by the Constitution.
In conclusion we can say that the political and constitutional crisis is not at all so hopeless, as they are trying to present it to us. Definitely there is “you can’t have your cake and eat it” outcome of it. You have will and 130 MPs, but not the required 160 or 180? Well, then, instead of simulating changes your decision is democratic - a referendum in which you can measure what is the real will of the sovereign for authentic justice reform. The alleged lack of information of the voters can`t be a reason for denial of this right, because nothing prevents the government to conduct an intensive information campaign from now until October. And this same "uninformed" voters sent all MPs in parliament. All you need is political will, and this is declared, right? Now is the time to find out.
On the other hand, everyone, including his importer - the president forgot about the referendum on electoral reform that was supposed to be held in October. It is not right to omit the opportunity of consulting citizens on important topics. The time is running out. Bulgaria's future is at stake, it depends on us what it is.