On 16th of April, Bulgaria marks the Day of the Bulgarian Constitution. On this date in 1879, the First Grand National Assembly adopted the first basic law of Bulgaria, known as the Turnovo Constitution. It was adopted by the National Assembly held in the city of Veliko Turnovo as part of the establishment of the Principality of Bulgaria after the country’s liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, reports BNT.
The constitution set out the structure and competences of the monarch, parliament and government, and defined the basic rights, freedoms and obligations of the Bulgarian citizens.
Bulgaria’s old capital, Veliko Turnovo on 16th of April hosts the celebrations dedicated to 140 years since the adoption of the fisrt constitution. The solemn meeting of the 44th National Assembly took place in the hall of the Constituent Assembly in the old capital.
The MPs were welcomed with bread and salt and the solemn sitting was opened by Parliament’s Speaker Tsveta Karayancheva with the bell that was used 140 years ago and in the presence of the original copy of the Turnovo Constitution.
Addresses to the Bulgarian people were made by members of all parliamentary represented political forces.
The members of the Constituent Assembly that adopted the first Bulgarian constitution are the titans, we are their humble heirs, Karayancheva said.
President Rumen Radev, who attended the celebrations in Veliko Turnovo, commented on the decision of the National Assembly to name Veliko Turnovo as a spiritual and historical capital of Bulgaria. (On Friday, 12 April 2019, Veliko Turnovo was officially declared the historical and spiritual capital of Bulgaria).
He added that he would hold discussions with his legal team on the need for a change in the Constitution:
Rumen Radev, President of Bulgaria: I welcome the decision of the National Assembly based on the historical memory and spiritual past of Veliko Turnovo and on its present, of course. I expect and believe that this decision will be supported by significant events and initiatives to preserve our historical memory and strengthen spirituality.
Sotir Tsatsarov, Chief Prosecutor: Today is a nice day. I would like a little more Bulgarianness and a little more thought about what unites us, not so many dividing lines, not so many borders, less accusations, not so much mud thrwoing, because this is not good for Bulgaria.