International Media Pay Tribute to Late Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev
The sudden death of former Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev, who died at the age of 79 on Friday, was widely reported in international media.
Bloomberg notes that under Zhelev’s presidency, Bulgaria, described as ''the former Soviet Union’s staunchest ally'', began its transition from communism to market economy and democracy.
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev is also quoted as saying that Zhelev “is a symbol of peaceful transition, of tolerance and search for national consensus.''
Associated Press mentions Former President Petar Stoyanov's appraisal for Zhelev's contribution to "bringing back Bulgaria to the family of free and democratic European nations.''
The agency also mentions the fact that he had trouble completing his postgraduate degree due to his anti-communist views. As a result, he was either ''jobless or worked in casual jobs in agriculture in his wife’s hometown for eight years.''
Zhelev also believed that Bulgaria should change its political system to a presidential republic, based on the French model.
Reuters reported his statement that "the country should have both a prime minister and a president, but the latter should be vested in far-reaching powers so that he may control the executive power.''
Bulgarian Parliament has announced that February 1 will be a national day of mourning in honour of Zhelyu Zhelev.