Nikolay Barekov Party's Deputy Chariman Quits, Slams Leader

Politics | July 20, 2014, Sunday // 12:39
Bulgaria: Nikolay Barekov Party's Deputy Chariman Quits, Slams Leader Angel Slavchev initially became known as a protest activist during the previous winter. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria without Censorship (BWC)'s deputy head Angel Slavchev is leaving the party which was recently established by MEP and former journalist Nikolay Barekov.

Slavchev was first known to the public for being among the spearheads of the February 2013 protests over living standards.

In an open letter to the media, he explained he was withdrawing his trust from Barekov and made a number of accusations targeting the Chairman.

He also criticized the leader over allowing the penetration of "DPS-affiliated" people into BWC's local party structures, a process allegedly facilitated by BWC Secretary Stefan Kenov.

Slavchev believes Barekov is a "puppet" of controversially perceived Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) MP Delyan Peevski, whose appointment at the state security agency DANS (later renounced) triggered widespread mass demonstrations in the capital Sofia last summer.

Also according to the text, Barekov and Peevski hold phone conversations "every day".

"It has been nearly a years since Bulgaria without Censorship is part of the political reality in Bulgaria. Its leader, Nikolay Barekov, was elected MEP in the [European Parliament] elections on May 25," the letter reads.

"In many of his appearances he speaks of the prosperity and future of the country, makes high-flown promises, introduces himself as the next Prime Minister, distributes ministerial seats, allocates money, "fixes" healthcare, threatens corruption with the "Clean Hands" operation [a BWC initiative to put the possessions of all high-profile politicians under scrutiny], points a finger at politicians [saying] he will send them to prison, etc.

At the same time, inside BWC there are ongoing processes showing quite different intentions which have nothing to do with beautiful promises."

Slavchev also describes as "the strangest and shameful thing" his allegation that "Nikolay Barekov is not the real leader of BWC," but is "a mere puppet... directed every day by DPS MP Delyan Deevski".

Created in order not to be a leader-type party, it turned into a dictatorial one," the former activist argues.

With his letter he also informed he was both resigning as Deputy Chairman and quitting the party.

BWC later responded to Slavchev's comments.

It described his claims as "manipulative" and explained Slavchev has not been in its leadership "for the last months," a period in which his membership is said to have been "only formal, after he withdrew from party life and voluntarily stopped participating in the work of the party and its structures."

Barekov's organization also accuses Slavchev of trying to build parallel party structures and maintains he decided to leave the party after failing to gather support for his actions.

The former civic rights activist joined BWC in February this year, eleven months after co-founding the Movement for Civic Control alongside Doncho Dudev and Yanko Petrov, the three most popular participants in the February 2013 protests.

BWC was also set up last year, with journalist-turned-politician Nikolay Barekov promising to overhaul the political system and eradicate the old-party elite during his tour on Bulgaria that continued for months and was described by some as a permanent election campaign.

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Tags: Movement for Civic Control, Angel Slavchev, Nikolay Barekov, Delyan Peevski, Bulgaria without Censorship, Doncho Dudev, Yanko Petrov, February 2013 protests, Stefan Kenov
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