NYT: Bulgarian Prime Minister Submits Resignation

February 20, 2013, Wednesday // 02:47
.: NYT: Bulgarian Prime Minister Submits Resignation
Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, surprisingly resigned from the post following large-scale protests in the country. Photo by BGNES

New York Times

By MATTHEW BRUNWASSER

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov of Bulgaria submitted his government's resignation on Wednesday after a tumultuous week of public anger over rising electricity prices, corruption and austerity measures that ignited mass protests nationwide and led to bloody clashes with the police on Tuesday night.

The speaker of the Parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, said that she had received the official letter of resignation and but that it would not take effect until legislators voted on it Thursday.

"The people gave us power and today we are returning it," he said, according to local news reports.

The mass protests were triggered by electricity price increases and corruption scandals, including one over the nominee to head the state electricity regulatory commission, which sets rates. She was alleged to have sold cigarettes illegally online and her nomination was later withdrawn.

Protests in cities around the country on Sunday night were believed to be the biggest the country had seen in 16 years.

Trying to appease the protesters, the prime minister said Tuesday that the license of the Czech utility CEZ, which provides power to many residential customers in Bulgaria, would be withdrawn.

Opposition political parties had been attempting to exploit public anger over the government's austerity measures as general elections planned for July approached. They are now likely to be held earlier.

Mr. Borisov cited beatings of protesters Tuesday by the police as one reason for his decision.

"Every drop of blood for us is a stain," he said. "I can't look at a Parliament surrounded by barricades, that's not our goal, neither our approach, if we have to protect ourselves from the people."

Mr. Borisov said he would not participate in an interim government.

After the announcement, members of his party left Parliament and the speaker called a recess because of the lack of a quorum.


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