Anti-Government Protests Continue Over Weekend, PES Pledges Support for Bulgarian Socialists
Thursday, 01 January 1970
Protest rallies against the Socialist-led government of prime minister Plamen Oresharski continued over the weekend in big cities, with thousands gathering in downtown Sofia for the tenth day despite a thunderstorm.
Protests were also held in Plovdiv, Varna and Blagoevgrad.
The cabinet and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), however, received backing from the Party of European Socialist (PES), whose leadership met in Sofia on Saturday. Sergey Stanishev is at the helm of BSP and PES in extremely challenging times, European Parliament President Martin Schulz, said adding that only a few leaders in Europe who own up to their mistakes and try to correct them.
The protests, which started on June 14, were triggered by the appointment as national security chief of Delyan Peevski Peevski, an MP of the ethnic Turks’ Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), a party whose support is vital for Oresharski's cabinet. Peevski, a media mogul with power business interests in all spheres of the economy, has no experience in the security field. Parliament’s withdrawal of Peevski’s appointment failed to appease the protesters who accuse the incumbents of serving business interests, and demand early elections.
In May’s snap elections four parties - the centre-right GERB of former prime minister Boyko Borisov, the BSP, the MRF, and strongly nationalist Ataka – jumped the 4% threshold for entry in the National Assembly, leaving a large part of Bulgarians not represented in parliament.