Ex-Bulgarian President: I Have Been Labeled Traitor 17 Y Ago to Date
Former Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, (2002-2012) says he has been slammed as traitor already after he returned the government mandate on February 4, 1997.
Parvanov spoke Tuesday at a discussion titled "February 4 1997; Barricades, Consensus, and Reason (Historical Analysis - 17 Years Later)."
Parvanov, who is also a former socialist leader, explained that he believed he would never be condemned again, hinting of recent attacks of the leadership of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) after he revived his ABV (Alternative for Bulgarian Renaissance) movement and declared it will have an alternative ballot for the upcoming EP elections.
The Tuesday discussion is dedicated to the 17th anniversary of the date when Parvanov, then leader of BSP, and the nominated for Prime Minister late Socialist Nikolay Dobrev, returned the mandate to appoint a cabinet in the aftermath of wide-spread people discontent and rallies toppling the BSP cabinet of Zhan Videnov.
On February 4, 1997, then President, Petar Stoyanov, who won elections on the right wing ballot, called a meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security and in the aftermath Parvanov and Dobrev announced they were retreating from selecting a second BSP cabinet.
"The protests in 1997 were much more violent than current ones. I stayed inside BSP headquarters on "Positano" street without heating; phones were disconnected, and I had three unarmed security guards. I lost 8 kilos and Dobrev lost 13. We were called traitors and paid snitches then, but with time Bulgarian Socialists understood and appreciated what we did," said Parvanov on Tuesday.
He recalled how the leadership of the party in February 1997 gave him and Dobrev the authority to make the final decision at the meeting with Stoyanov.
The former President reminded that they walked to the said meeting with two folders – one with a list of ministers in a new government proposed by BSP and the other with a statement the party was returning the mandate.
"Most of those BSP leaders at the time insisted on having a socialist government even if it would last just several days to prove that the party can offer a solution, but this would have led to escalation of tensions and violence; to have blood spilled on the streets and even to a civil war. These words might now sound too strong, but footage from the winter of 1997 proves them," he explained.
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