The National Assembly of Bulgaria was established in 1879 with the Constitution of Bulgaria.
The National Assembly of Bulgaria is the unicameral parliament and body of the legislative of the Republic of Bulgaria.It was established in 1879 with the Tarnovo Constitution.
The National Assembly consists of 240 members elected for a four-year term. 209 of the representatives are elected by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies and 31 are elected in single-seat constituencies according to the last amendment of the Electoral law governing parliamentary elections, promulgated SG 36th edition on 15 May 2009. Political parties must gather a minimum of 4% of the national vote in order to enter the Assembly. Bulgaria has a multi-party system. Obtaining of all state power by a single party is forbidden according to the articles of 1991 Constitution of Bulgaria.
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.
Grand National Assembly
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 Rebublic, 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 – The Grand Duke (Knjaz) Alexander Battenberg and the Grand Duke (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 conduvted by 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.
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.
The building is depicted on the reverse of the Bulgarian 20 leva banknote, issued in 1999 and 2007.
Due to insufficient space in the main building, some administrative offices of the National Assembly are now housed by the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, located at the Largo.
HOW CAN I VISIT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND ATTEND A PLENARY SITTING?