Hundreds Protest over DPS's 'Bat Sali', Policy on KTB

Politics » DOMESTIC | October 27, 2014, Monday // 17:41
Bulgaria: Hundreds Protest over DPS's 'Bat Sali', Policy on KTB Two protesters masked with a cardboard face of Aleksandar Metodiev, aka "Bat Sali", with the one on the left portraying the controversial lawmaker as a fox. Photo by BGNES

Various demonstrations were held in front of the Parliament building as the legislature kicked off its opening session Monday.

As many as 500-600 people rallied in downtown Sofia to vent their anger at the appointment of lawmaker Aleksandar Metodiev, known as "Bat Sali", who was sworn in alongside other MPs. Some protesters had brought placards portraying him as a fox saying "I am an endangered species from the Electoral Code".

They demanded that the decision giving Bat Sali the right to represent the electoral region of Dupnitsa and Kyustendil, two key towns in Bulgaria's north-west, reminding his party, the Movement of Rights and Freedoms (DPS) received only 800 votes in the October 5 early elections.

Metodiev was however elected with ballots from abroad, part of which were redistributed to the Kyustendil electoral region. Furious voters are now insisting election rules have to be amended.

Earlier Kyustendil Mayor Petar Paunov warned of "tensions" to arise if "Bat Sali" was sworn in.

Protests have been held across the two towns since first results after the processing of all ballots were announced. The DPS's leader is however adamant there is nothing unconstitutional in Metodiev's choice to be a lawmaker.

A few dozens of other citizens demonstrated by the National Assembly against the lack of a clear solution of the crisis at Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), Bulgaria's fourth-largest lender which was placed under conservatorship in mid-June, with depositors unable to access their savings.

Other protesters called for changes to the Electoral Code to introduce the majority system.

A separate and much thinner crowd booed lawmakers as they were entering Parliament, but to produce any demands. Most of the demonstrators there voiced there disgruntlement with President Rosen Plevneliev, interim Prime Minister Georgi Blizhashki, Chief Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi and the ambassadors of Turkey, Russia and the US.

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Tags: Bat Sali, DPS, KTB, Kyustendil, Dupnitsa, Petar Paunov, Rosen Plevneliev, Georgi Bliznashki, KTB. Mustafa Hadzhi
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