Council of Bulgarian Presidents Calls for Extending Role of Direct Democracy
The council of Bulgarian presidents, which convened for the fourth consecutive year on Monday, called for extending the role of direct democracy in the country and accelerating the pace of reforms.
The tradition for presidents to meet around the date when the Bulgarian heads of state assume office - January 22 was established by incumbent Rosen Plevneliev in 2013.
This year's participating in the meeting - Petar Stoyanov (1997-2002), Georgi Parvanov (2002-2012) and Plevneliev expressed their deep regret over the absence of late Zhelyu Zhelev (1990-1997) who passed away on January 30 last year.
The last public involvement of the first democratically elected president was at last year's council of presidents.
The participants vowed to remember him as a convinced democrat and as a president of national unity and peaceful transition.
They commemorated him by reminding his words that democracy can only be healed with more democracy.
At the beginning of the council, they made an overview of the past year and the crises which affected Bulgaria both in domestic and international aspect.
They identified the holding of the referendum on the introduction of remote electronic voting as a success of the Bulgarian civil society.
The presidents expressed hope that 2016 will be the year when the reform of the judiciary will be implemented and citizens will begin to gradually feel the benefits.
The participants stated that justice should be established everywhere in society, which could be achieved by providing care for the poorest and ensuring integration of all groups in society.
They called on the state to make efforts at overcoming social inequality and integrating marginalised groups of society.
According to them, the institutions have to work in the interest of citizens in order to gradually restore the confidence in them.
They strongly condemned all forms of terrorism and were firm that terrorism is a global threat which requires united and decisive solution.
In their opinion, it was necessary to ensure the safety of people and to protect democratic values.
They expressed a common stance that there is a need for united European approach in tackling the consequences of the unprecedented migrant influx and the ensuing refugee crisis in Europe.
In their words, the efforts of European leaders and the international community should be directed towards addressing the root causes rather than dealing only with the consequences.
The participants agreed to initiate the establishment of a presidential library, which will provide citizens with a rich information on the traditions of the institution and the achievements of Bulgarian presidents during their terms in office.
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