Divided Bulgaria Marks Communist Takeover Anniversary
The emblematic date of September 9, considered both the date of Bulgaria's anti-fascist uprising in 1944, and the beginning of the Communist regime, will be marked in polar ways by political forces here.
Celebrations across the country are initiated by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, for the 68th anniversary since the Communist take-over, while members of the right-wing democracy-forbearer parties will bow heads to commemorate the victims of the regime.
In Sofia, under the initiative of the Socialists, people are expected to gather at 6 pm in front of the Brothers' Burial Mound in the city central Borisova Gradina Park at a rally to mark the anniversary. Flowers will be laid at the Unknown Soldier and Russian Army Monument in Sofia and heads bowed at the Common Grave remembering the victims of anti-fascism fight. Citizens will be joined by the Chair of the Sofia Branch of BSP, Anna Yaneva, Members if the Parliament, and BSP municipal councilors.
Earlier, right-wing politicians and supporters will attend at 11 am a solemn mass in memory of the thousands of people whose lives paid for the Communists staying in power for half a century. It will be held in the chapel in the park of the National Palace of Culture, NDK. They will lay wreaths and flowers at the memorial monument there, listing the names of 8 000 Bulgarians, victims of the Communist regime. The organizer of the event is the Union of Bulgarians Repressed by Communist Terror.
Later in the evening, the National Resistance union is organizing an anti-Communist march. It will start at 8 pm from the Sveta Nedelya church in downtown Sofia through the central pedestrian Vitosha boulevard to NDK. The march is held under the motto "Never again under Foreign Flags."
A violent Communist takeover took place in Bulgaria on September 9, 1944 after the entry of Soviet troops into the country during World War II. September 9 was Bulgaria's national holiday until 1989 when the Communist regime collapsed.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, successor of the Bulgarian Communist Party, won the country's first free election and stayed in office by 1991.
The election in December 1994 returned the BSP to power with an absolute majority, but the political fallout from a severe economic crisis in 1996-97 forced an early general election in April 1997, which was won by a UDF-led center-right coalition.
BSP returned to power in the parliamentary elections in 2005 only to suffer a humiliating defeat four years later, when it was ousted by the square-jawed, tough talking ex-karate competiors, bodyguard and ex-Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov.
Interestingly, Bulgaria's anti-fascist uprising in 1944, has been named the most important event in the country for the past century by Bulgarians.
In 2011, the Communist take-over garnered 24,29% of the votes in a poll conducted at the beginning of last year, which aimed to elect the most important events for Bulgaria over the past century in different fields of life. The on-line and text messaging campaign was organized by the Bulgarian National Television.