Dimitar Berbatov Image Abused for Political Campaigning
Flyers with the image of Bulgarian footballer Dimitar Berbatov and the number 29 ticked in a circle have been circulating the southern city of Svilengrad over the past days.
It would all make perfect sense if 29 was Berbatov's shirt number in his team Monaco, but no. This is the number of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) on the ballot for the upcoming European Parliament elections. On the bottom right of the flyer is the date of the elections, May 25th, and on top it is written that "selling and buying of votes is a crime".
Svilengrad is a stronghold of DPS, a predominantly ethnic Turkish party. Local residents told Nova TV that the flyers have been handed out in restaurants and placed in post boxes over the past days. The local office of DPS denies printing the campaign material, but admitted it is aware of its circulation.
Later, a local businessman involved in marketing and PR admitted that the flyers were his idea, and the number 29 was a joke referring to the number of games Berbatov had played for Manchester United, a figure which is far from the truth.
In response, the footballer condemned over Facebook the unauthorized use of his image for political campaigning, calling it "outrageous and irresponsible".
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