Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation Gives the Green Light to Registration of DOST Party
Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) has overturned a lower court decision to deny registration to DOST political party founded by Lyutvi Mestan.
The VKS ruled that the decision of Sofia City Court to deny registration to the new party because the acronym of its name is spelled and sounds like a word for "friend" in Turkish and many of DOST founding members are of ethnic Turkish origin wasn’t substantiated by evidence of intentions to conduct party activities on ethnic or religious basis.
“The programme and statutes of DOST give no grounds to conclude that the party was founded in the narrow framework of a ethnic or religious group closed to people, values and ideas from outside,” the VKS said in the motives for its decision.
VKS described as “utterly arbitrary” the conclusion of Sofia City Court that DOST might harbour objectives different from those officially declared by the party founding members and written into its statutes.
The VKS ruling [BG] is final and cannot be appealed.
DOST stands for "Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance" in Bulgarian. The new political party splintered from the second-largest opposition force in the current Parliament, the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which is also made up predominantly of ethnic Turks, after Lyutvi Mestan was dismissed as chairman and expelled from DPS at the end of last year.
Mestan came under fire from DPS founder and honorary chairman, Ahmed Dogan, for issuing a declaration on behalf of DPS in support of Turkey in that country’s spat with Russia over the downing of a Russian fighter bomber by Turkish Air Force jets near the border with Syria. Mestan has repeatedly denied suggestions that DOST will be a pro-Turkish party.
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