Bulgaria's Vice President 'Cannot Give Up Party Overnight'
Vice President Iliana Iotova has fended off claims that the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) is wielding influence on the presidency.
In an interview with private NOVA TV, however, she has warned one cannot expect of her to "give up the BSP overnight."
"Twenty of my best years are linked to the BSP," Iotova, a former MEP and core BSP member, has recalled.
On the other hand, Iotova has noted, she is now in contact with a lot more political forces if compared to her MEP term.
She has downplayed speculation of President Rumen Radev's ties to Russia, arguing he has actually become the first President to pay as many visits to the West since his term began late in January.
Both she and Radev call for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia, maintaining they hurt Bulgaria's business interest.
The presidential institution is considered non-partisan under Bulgarian law.
With the election of President Radev and his running mate Iotova in November, the BSP's opponents and some experts argued the party would project its influence on the presidency, having endorsed the pair (and, in practice, having invited Radev to run).
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