National Assembly
50th National Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Raya Nazaryan, GERB–SDS
since 20 June 2024
Political groups
  GERB–SDS (68)[a]
  PP–DB (39)[b]
  Revival (38)
  DPS (23)
  BSPzB (18)
  ITN (16)
  Independent (38)[c]
Proportional representation
Last election
9 June 2024
Next election
Meeting place
Party House, Sofia

42°41′40″N 23°19′58″E / 42.694456°N 23.332893°E / 42.694456; 23.332893

The National Assembly (Bulgarian: Народно събрание, romanizedNarodno Sabranie (lit. People’s Assembly) is the unicameral parliament and legislative body of the Republic of Bulgaria. The first National Assembly was established in 1879 with the Tarnovo Constitution.

During the communist period between 1946 and 1989, the National Assembly was the supreme organ of state power and it was the only branch of government in Bulgaria and, in accordance with the principle of unified power, all state organs were subservient to it. Most of the National Assembly's actions were characterized as a rubber stamp for the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP) or as only being able to affect issues of low sensitivity and salience to the Bulgarian communist regime. The BCP controlled nomination and election processes at every level in its political system, allowing it to stamp out any opposition.

Ordinary National Assembly

The National Assembly consists of 240 members elected for a four-year term, elected by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies. Political parties must garner a minimum of 4% of the national vote in order to enter the Assembly. Bulgaria has a multi-party system.

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 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.


By the Constitution, the National Assembly is inaugurated by the eldest elected member of Parliament. On the first day of sitting, they preside over the election of the Speaker (Chairperson) and two deputies.[1]

Once elected, the Speakers retain their party allegiances, which means that they remain as MPs and are allowed to take part in debates and voting.

121 MPs must be present in order for any session to commence, and 50%+1 of those present must vote "for" any point of order or bill to be approved.

Ministers may be chosen from among the MPs or they may be experts outside Parliament. All MPs picked to be Cabinet ministers lose their MP status, and other members from their party are called up to Parliament to fill the seats they vacate.

Parliament sits Wednesday to Friday, and sessions begin at 9 am. Parliamentary committees sit in the afternoons.


Old Parliament House

In 2020-2021, the old Parliament House was only used for special occasions, such as the opening and closing of the legislative session or the inauguration of a new president.[2] Following the April 2021 parliamentary elections, the legislature returned to the old parliament building.

The Chamber is made up of 286 seats, all facing the 5-seat speaker's bench in a 26 x 11 arrangement. In front of the Speaker, also facing the chamber, is the pulpit, in front of which is the stenographers' desk.

Parties sit in parliamentary groups, loosely following the rule that the political left sits to the Speaker's left and the political right to his right. Generally, the largest parties choose the chamber's left, right or centre wings, with smaller blocks accommodating themselves wherever convenient. Individual MPs will sometimes sit entirely outside their block or stand, and, since compulsory electronic registration was implemented, may even vote from any seat in the house.

To the speaker's right, also facing the chamber, is a section with 17 seats reserved for the Cabinet, any of whom may or may not be present at any time during a parliamentary session. Any of them may, however, be called up by Parliament at any time if needed.[3]

Largo Parliament House

Located in the former Bulgarian Communist Party headquarters building in the Largo, The Chamber is made up of 270 seats arranged in a hemicycle of twelve rows, all facing the 7-seat speaker's bench. In front of the Speaker, also facing the chamber, is the pulpit containing a stenographer's desk at the center and two sections reserved for the Cabinet, each with 13 seats, at the sides.

The new plenary hall, which is located under a glass roof, is larger than the old one and can be easily remodeled to fit the 400-member Grand National Assembly.[2] It was used briefly in 2020-2021 during the end of GERB's third government. Following the April 2021 parliamentary elections, the legislature returned to the old parliament building.

Grand National Assembly

Main article: Grand National Assembly of Bulgaria

The building of the first National Assembly of Bulgaria in Veliko Tarnovo

In addition to the ordinary National Assembly, a Grand National Assembly (Велико народно събрание, Veliko narodno sabranie) may be convened 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 Republic, etc. Before the World War II the Grand National Assembly was also competent in electing the Regency of the Bulgarian Kingdom if the tzar had not come to age. The First and the Third Grand National Assemblies also elected the first two Bulgarian monarchs after the liberation from Ottoman rule – Prince (Knjaz) Alexander Battenberg and Prince (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 under a first-past-the-post voting system. The Constitution provides that the elections for Grand National Assembly shall be conducted in 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.


Main article: Bulgaria National Assembly Building

View from Tsar Osvoboditel

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.

Office house of the National Assembly (former House of the BCP) used as National Assembly building from 2020 to 2021 and from 2023

Due to insufficient space in the main building at Parliament Square, the National Assembly is now housed by the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, located at the Largo - the so-called Party House. Initially, only administrative offices have been relocated, but proposals to convert the into an interior space for the plenary chamber have been made since 1996, with the relocation taking place in 2020.[4][2] After the April 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election, the National Assembly moved again to the old Parliament House because ITN, Democratic Bulgaria, ISMV, and DPS viewed the Party House building as a symbol of Bulgaria's communist past.[5]

List of National Assemblies

Parliament Term Seats
Constituent National Assembly 10 February 187916 April 1879 231
1st Grand National Assembly 17 April 187926 June 1879 231
1st Ordinary National Assembly 21 October 187924 November 1879 158
2nd Ordinary National Assembly 23 March 188018 December 1880 172
2nd Grand National Assembly 7 January 1881 307
3rd Ordinary National Assembly 10 December 188225 December 1883 47
4th Ordinary National Assembly 27 June 18846 September 1886 195/286
3rd Grand National Assembly 19 October 18863 August 1887 493
5th Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 188717 December 1889 285
6th Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 189015 December 1892 276
4th Grand National Assembly 3 May 189317 May 1893 577
7th Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 189321 December 1893 145
8th Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 18944 February 1896 149
9th Ordinary National Assembly 1 December 189619 December 1898 159
10th Ordinary National Assembly 16 May 189929 November 1900 169
11th Ordinary National Assembly 22 February 190123 December 1901 166
12th Ordinary National Assembly 22 April 190231 March 1903 188
13th Ordinary National Assembly 2 November 190322 December 1907 189
14th Ordinary National Assembly 15 June 190815 February 1911 203
5th Grand National Assembly 9 June 19119 July 1911 414
15th Ordinary National Assembly 15 October 191123 July 1913 213
16th Ordinary National Assembly 19 December 191331 December 1913 204
17th Ordinary National Assembly 20 March 191415 April 1919 257
18th Ordinary National Assembly 2 October 191920 February 1920 237
19th Ordinary National Assembly 15 April 192011 March 1923 232
20th Ordinary National Assembly 21 May 192311 June 1923 245
21st Ordinary National Assembly 9 December 192315 April 1927 267
22nd Ordinary National Assembly 19 June 192718 April 1931 275
23rd Ordinary National Assembly 20 August 193119 May 1934 283
24th Ordinary National Assembly 22 May 193827 April 1939 160
25th Ordinary National Assembly 24 February 194023 August 1944 160
26th Ordinary National Assembly 15 December 194528 September 1946 276
6th Grand National Assembly 7 November 194621 October 1949 465(375)
1st National Assembly 17 January 19502 November 1953 239
2nd National Assembly 14 January 195411 December 1957 249
3rd National Assembly 13 January 19584 November 1961 254
4th National Assembly 15 March 19628 December 1965 321
5th National Assembly 11 March 196618 May 1971 416
6th National Assembly 7 July 19719 March 1976 400
7th National Assembly 15 June 19767 April 1981 400
8th National Assembly 16 June 198121 March 1986 400
9th National Assembly 17 June 19863 April 1990 400
7th Grand National Assembly 10 July 19902 October 1991 400
36th National Assembly 4 November 199117 October 1994 240
37th National Assembly 12 January 199513 February 1997 240
38th National Assembly 7 May 199719 April 2001 240
39th National Assembly 5 July 200117 June 2005 240
40th National Assembly 11 July 200525 June 2009 240
41st National Assembly 14 July 200913 March 2013 240
42nd National Assembly 21 May 20136 August 2014 240
43rd National Assembly 27 October 201427 January 2017 240
44th National Assembly 19 April 201726 March 2021 240
45th National Assembly 15 April 2021 – 12 May 2021 240
46th National Assembly 21 July 2021 – 16 September 2021 240
47th National Assembly 3 December 2021 – 2 August 2022 240
48th National Assembly 19 October 2022 – 3 February 2023 240
49th National Assembly 12 April 2023 – 19 June 2024 240
50th National Assembly 19 June 2024 – 240

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Former members of:
      DPS (24)
      Velichie (13)
      BSPzB (1)
  1. ^ Inaugural Session, 42nd National Assembly, 21 May 2013, Retrieved Oct 2013
  2. ^ a b c "Bulgarian Parliament in a New Building - the Renovated Former Party House". Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  3. ^ Raykov Cabinet (88th Government) sitting in Parliament Archived 9 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine (article ), 22 May 2013 Retrieved Oct 2013.
  4. ^ Competition for new Plenary Hall Archived 17 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine, NI Consult, 2009. Retrieved Oct 2013.
  5. ^ "Парламентът се връща в старата си сграда. Поне за първото заседание". Клуб Z. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.