Bulgaria's GERB Strips Embattled Varna Mayor of Support
Bulgaria's center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, has withdrawn its endorsement for embattled Varna Mayor, Kiril Yordanov.
The news emerged Sunday morning after an emergency briefing of GERB's branch in Varna, two hours ahead of the official events for the celebration of Liberation Day and the expected large-scale protest rally.
The GERB Regional Coordinator, Ivan Portnih, reported that the decision has been coordinated with outgoing Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov. Portnih said GERB have realized their mistake in endorsing a man who does not have public support.
Last Monday, Yordanov declared at a press conference he was not going to resign from the post
The protest rallies of Bulgarians against the political model, unbearable utility bills, monopolies, and wide-spread poverty have been shaking the country for weeks now. The two-week long protests led to the resignation of Borisov's GERB Cabinet on February 21.
The largest-scale ones have been staged in the Black Sea city of Varna, where in addition to other demands, the demonstrators were calling for the resignation of their 4th-term Mayor, lastly elected on the ticked of the GERB party.
Yordanov grounded his refusal to resign on 70 000 Varna residents casting a ballot for him, which prompted organizers to pledge they will bring together this many people in front of the City Hall Sunday to ask his sacking.
Yordanov, however, vowed to resign immediately if the investigation proves he has been responsible in any way for the tragic act committed by Plamen Goranov, who set himself on fire in sign of protest.
The Mayor also stated he fully supported the just demands of protesting disgruntled Bulgarians.
Regarding circulating claims he has been serving the interests of the powerful local shady business group TIM, Yordanov said there were only 3 deals between the group and the City Hall, and he had not signed any of them. He failed to give an answer to a journalist's question asking who has been the exact individual or individuals logging the proposals for these deals with the City Hall.
On Sunday, the Mayor said he learned about the decision minutes before the 9 am start of the church mass on the occasion of Liberation day, adding he did not know any details, but GERB were entitled to such decision.
He informed he will call an emergency session of the municipal council to announce his reaction and course.
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