Mustafa Karadayi Elected Chair of Bulgaria's DPS
Bulgaria's third-largest, predominantly ethnic Turk DPS party has elected Mustafa Karadayi as its chairman, the party's press office has said.
Karadayi had been pointed for months as the favourite to take over the party well before Sunday's national congress scheduled for the election of a new leader.
"With our cause in our hearts, with our common strength and will, we can do everything," Focus News Agency quotes him as saying after he was elected unanimously by the delegates at the National Palace of Culture (NDK).
The DPS's previous chair, Lyutvi Mestan, was expelled from the party in December after being accused by honorary chair Ahmed Dogan of serving Turkish interests.
Karadayi, 46, was among the three party officials to run the DPS ad interim until the April 24 congress held in Sofia.
He was elected in an open ballot, with none of the 856 delegates participating in the conference voting against him or abstaining.
Upon his election, Karadayi thanked the honorary chairperson of DPS Ahmed Dogan and the participants in conference.
The new leader has been connected with DPS from its very foundation in the early 1990s. He served two mandates as leader of the youth formation of DPS and is currently serving his second term as MP.
Apart from electing a chairperson, the ninth national conference also adopted changes to the party’s statute.
Dogan was granted with the right to summon meetings of the central operative bureau (the narrow party leadership), the central council (the extended party leadership) and the central control commission.
In this way, apart from the chairperson, Dogan will also be able to step in the functioning of the party if his intervention is required.
The honorary chairperson will continue to embody and express the founding values and strategic goals of the party.
The conference was attended by founders of the party, MPs, MEPs, guests from the country and abroad. One notable absence was that of controversial MP and media mogul Delyan Peevksi.
In his address to the conference, Dogan said that the past 25 years have shown that DPS is a strategic investment for the stability and peace in Bulgaria.
He identified the Bulgarian ethnic model, which according to him has in no small part been established by DPS, as unique liberal project.
A congratulatory address was delivered by the president of ALDE, Hans van Baalen, while a video address was made by the leader of ALDE in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt.
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