DPS's Mestan: Bulgaria Returning to Pre-Democracy
Bulgaria is returning to the stage of pre-democracy and risks deviating from its European path, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS)'s leader Lyutvi Mestan said on Friday.
During the debates preceding the vote on the new government's lineup, the Chairman of Bulgaria's third-biggest party said the European perspective of the country is now being put into question for the first time in the 25 years since democracy was restored.
Mestan warned Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) and the Reformist Bloc (RB) against resorting to support from the nationalist coalition called Patriotic Front.
On Thursday GERB, right-wing RB, nationalist Patriotic Front and left-wing ABV reached a deal on how to form the next Bulgarian cabinet, with GERB and the RB sealing a coalition agreement, the PF supporting their alliance and ABV sending Ivaylo Kalfin to the cabinet and ensuring the support of another 11 MEPs. The government will thus count on a parliamentary majority of 137 (out of 240) lawmakers.
The DPS is dominated by ethnic Turks and caters to the Turkish-speaking minority in Bulgaria, while the PF has vowed to adopt measures such as pre-school Bulgarian language exam.
"The Bulgarian society and Bulgaria's partners within the EU and NATO cannot be led astray. In the 43rd Bulgarian Parliament the vote will not be on a cabinet of the two-party minority coalition of GERB and the Reformist Bloc, but not even a three-party minority coalition of GERB, the RB and ABV, but a four-party majority government with... the participation of a national populist formation - the Patriotic Front," he angrily declared.
"Perhaps the most important message... from the DPS's point of view is that in 25 years today's act of Parliament will be the first to review the civilizational choice of Bulgaria to develop as a modern Euro-Atlantic state... Nowhere in Europe does the normal right and left [parties] enter an alliance with national populism, xenophobia," Mestan added, describing the next cabinet as a "vicious" coalition.
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