Bulgaria's DPS Party Expels Chairman Lyutvi Mestan
Lyutvi Mestan has been dismissed as chairman of Bulgaria’s DPS party, bTV reported on Thursday.
Mestan has also been expelled from the DPS’ parliamentary group and from the party, bTV quoted a DPS spokeswoman as saying following an urgently convened ad-hoc meeting of the party’s Central Council.
The meeting was attended by over 80% of the members of the governing body of the second-largest opposition party in the current Bulgarian parliament, according to the spokeswoman.
The meeting was held in the villa of DPS founder and honorary chairman Ahmed Dogan in Boyana, on the outskirts of Sofia.
This would be the fate of everyone who stands up against Bulgaria’s national interests, Dogan had said at the meeting, according to the spokeswoman, bTV reported.
Earlier this week, Dogan was reported by local media to have lashed out at Mestan's political reaction in parliament to last month's downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey in the border area between Syria and Turkey.
In a New Year speech before senior officials of the predominantly ethnic Turk party Dogan has criticised Mestan for his declaration of support for Turkey in Ankara’s row with Moscow over the downing of the Russian warplane.
A three-men panel will act as DPS chair until the national conference of the party in April 2016, bTV said.
Mestan has dismissed Dogan’s criticism, saying that the declaration was adopted unanimously by DPS’ parliamentary group and showed the party support for NATO values rather than being an expression of pro-Turkish stance by DPS.
In no way could the declaration be interpreted as a statement by a foreign country’s 'fifth column' in Bulgaria, Mestan said at a news conference in Kardzhali, in southern Bulgaria, on Thursday before the DPS meeting in Boyana, according to bTV.
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Many Bulgarians will be happy with that. So Thank you Dogan. Mestan was following Erdogan\'\'s radical vision. But most likely not the Bulgarian national interests were of such importance. The appearance of mister Donal Trump may have also tilted the balance against Mestan.