Bulgaria's Ex Tsar-PM Firmly against Snap Polls
Bulgaria now needs dialogue, consensus, and pragmatism, not a Great General Assembly, and a new Constitution, according to former Tsar and Prime Minister, Simeon Saxe-Coburg (2001-2005).
Saxe-Coburg, who resides in Spain, was in Bulgaria Thursday to visit with his spouse Margarita the Thracian sanctuary Perperikon.
He stressed all politicians and citizens must think of Bulgaria's well-being first and foremost.
Regarding the nearly month-long anti-government protest rallies, the former PM explained the country held valid general elections and the government and the Parliament are legal and not in any violation of the Constitution.
"Elections are a democratic process. The Cabinet must be given a chance to finish its 4-year term. If some citizens want its resignation, it can decide to resign as did the government of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov. But such resignation is not mandatory. What is going to happen to Bulgaria if we start seeking a new government every other day?" Saxe-Coburg told reporters.
When asked if he shared the opinion of some that demonstrators are paid to attend, he replied Bulgarians are an intelligent nation, which in the last 20 years became fully aware of the meaning of the word democracy.
"If people took to the streets, this is something positive; this is their right. Manipulations of protests exist in any society, but we should not focus only on such possibility and always seek the negative," stated the former PM.
On the recent and rare joint comment by foreign diplomats on Bulgaria's domestic situation, where Germany's Matthias Hopfner and France's Philippe Autier expressed concern about the current state of affairs in the EU's poorest country, urging the government to abandon the oligarchic model and listen to the voice of civil society, Saxe-Coburg said it should be interpreted "as a normal occurrence and without any drama."
"This is the time for Bulgarian society to start its evolution; to observe what other countries are doing and follow the rule of law. Pointing at certain individuals would not help. What does the government have to do with oligarchs, can you tell me? There are similar symptoms in other countries, but they do not impose an immediate replacement of their governments. What we need is reforms, reforms, and more reforms, but through dialogue and unification," said he.
The former Tsar declined to give an assessment of the current Socialist-endorsed Cabinet of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, but stressed he respected the latter as a top finance and economy expert, a responsible, pragmatic, hard-working individual, adding that giving him the post has been a sensible decision.
"I would not give Oresharski marks and advice; I have been in his shoes and I know how hard it is to rule a country. If I have something to say to him, I will only do it face to face," he pointed out
Saxe-Coburg rejected the idea to call a Great General Assembly on grounds Bulgaria did not need 400 Members of the Parliament when the current 240 are despised.
He brought to Perperikon a group of renowned Greek archeologists.
"My dream to see this amazing place has become true," Saxe-Coburg concluded.
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