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Socialists Demand Defence Minister’s Resignation, Extraordinary Meeting of Defence Committee in Parliament

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Muhammad Jawad
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Demand for Defence Minister resignation over increased aid to Ukraine, according to Bulgarian Parliamentary Group

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Renewed Demand for Defense Minister's Resignation

As political turmoil swells in Bulgaria, a growing call to action is emerging. The center of this storm revolves around the incumbent Defence Minister's support for increased military aid to Ukraine, a decision that the parliamentary group BSP for Bulgaria believes could amount to a national betrayal. The main point of contention rests on the proposed donation of vital ammunition that currently serves to protect Sofia and the nuclear plant.

(Also Read: Socialists Demand Defence Minister’s Resignation, Extraordinary Meeting of Defence Committee in Parliament)

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According to MP Atanas Zafirov, the push for the Minister's resignation is gaining traction. This follows a proposed decision that was signed off by leading members of the ruling majority to provide Ukraine with additional military help. This proposal states that the final few reliable defense mechanisms of Sofia's skies and it's nuclear infrastructure—the ammunition for the S-300 anti-aircraft missile complexes—should be donated to Ukraine.

An extraordinary meeting of the Defence Committee was called for Tuesday to discuss providing these munitions to Ukraine. BSP for Bulgaria's Zafirov voiced concern over the motion, arguing that the National Assembly, while tasked with controlling defence bodies' actions under the Defense Law, did not have the authority to arrange such substantial weapon donations.

Scramble for Political Responsibility

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Uncertainty and confusion are appearing to lay bare the mechanisms of power within Bulgaria's political structure. The nation's populace, political representatives, and even the Council of Ministers are raising questions about who exactly wields decision-making authority and where the buck of the political responsibility ultimately stops.

A crucial point of contention is the Defence Minister's role in all this. Questions regarding his awareness of the situation and the political responsibility he carries are under scrutiny. Ultimately, calls for his resignation are growing louder.

In particular, concerns are being raised about the potential abdication of responsibility towards the National Assembly, an action deemed unacceptable by members of the parliament.

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Challenges to The Claim on Missile Inefficacy

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Despite the outcry, there are voices within the majority government pushing back against the alarm. Hristo Gadzhev of GERB-UDF, together with Ivaylo Mirchev of CC-DB, defended the proposed donation, arguing that the missiles in question are, in fact, defective and ineffective. As such, they argued, there would be no classified risk to Bulgaria's missile defence.

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Delyan Peevski, a member of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), echoed the sentiment while speaking to journalists. He assured that the aid proposed for Ukraine involves ammunition and unserviceable missiles, as details in the drafted decision. He took exception to the BSP's assertion, showing confusion as to the cause of the tension.

The focus of Tuesday's extraordinary National Assembly's defense committee meeting was to take into account the proposal of sending defunct anti-aircraft guided missiles and ammunition for automatic small arms with obsolete requirements to Ukraine.

Life on the Ground in Ukraine

The proposal underscores the ongoing conflict in Ukraine with sobering numbers. According to the document, the Russian army has conducted over 38,000 shelling operations in populated Ukrainian areas in the past eight months. This excessive shelling has resulted in nearly 8,000 civilians, including children, being injured and close to 1,500 losing their lives.

The dire situation in Ukraine is a pressing argument in favor of the increased military aid. The draft decision underlines the importance of supporting Ukraine in its fight to protect its civilians from the effects of incessant shelling. Dispelling any doubts about the munitions' serviceability is crucial to the calls for ramped-up aid. However, as the proposed military aid continues to cause ripples within Bulgaria's political domain, only time will tell how these tumultuous discussions will play out.

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