Nominating Committee to Support Presidential Couple Radev Iotova
A steering committee to nominate President Rumen Radev and Vice President Iliana Iotova as independent candidates to run for a second term in office at the November 14 presidential elections held its inaugural meeting on Monday. The committee comprises nearly 200 members, among them politicians, intellectuals, athletes, science, culture and art figures, and journalists.
The inaugural meeting of the steering committee began with a slight delay because of the many wishing to attend the event.
On the steering committee are three members of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), on whose ticket Radev and Iotova ran for office in the previous presidential elections: Kristian Vigenin, Irena Anastassova, and Radoslav Gaydarski. Also on the committee is MEP Ivo Hristov (BSP/S&D Group), who told bTV that within his five-year term in office President Radev has proven himself a person with character, with a sense for the State interest, and with a sense of duty.
Radev and Iotova have the support for a second term in office also of the There is Such a People (TISP) party of Slavi Trifonov and of Continue the Change of former caretaker ministers Assen Vassilev and Kiril Petkov, who said two members of his political formation - Yana Balnikova and Denitsa Simeonova - will join the steering committee.
Also joining the steering committee are three members of the Rise Up.BG platform of Maya Manolova: Galina Tavalichka, Mimi Karakoleva, and Nikola Vaptsarov.
On Monday, the Central Election Commission began accepting documents for the registration of steering committees for the November 14 presidential elections. The deadline for registration is October 4.
Radev said he would run for president as early as eight months ago. The big parties have not yet presented their nominees.
In his remarks to the participants in the inaugural meeting, President Radev spoke of a fight to restore statehood and change the government model established in the past decade. He thanked the parties supporting his re-election bid.
"We will continue our fight for fair and accessible elections, for having a new type of government based on competence and integrity, for strengthening the rule of law, ending the abuse of power and theft, investment in people's development and guarantees for media freedom. It is the only way to beat poverty and lawlessness, and take a respectable place in the European family," said the President.
He underscored the changed atmosphere in the Bulgarian society in the past five years and hailed the anti-mafia consensus that was born in the protests. "Our society is ripe for a change," he said.
"The road won't be fast and easy. The decade-old merger of State and ruling party, rampant corruption, influence through fear and manipulations, long years of lies and demagoguery and a toxic media environment stand in the way of changes. But we will find a way out with the force of the collective will," said Radev.
He said the immediate national task is to strengthen statehood. "Without that, any government configuration and its economic, social and other policies, will fall in the trap of the oligarchy and are doomed to fail."
Vice President Iliana Iotova, too, spoke about the coming change that started with the protests "in the squares of the Bulgarian cities". "Bulgarians from near and far, our children, said clearly that they have energy for change, that together we can do more."
"During a time of collapsing statehood and severed social relations, we are expected to restore people's hope and we believe that that we will create together a new coordinate system of national unity," the Vice President said.
She also said that solidarity "is what takes us through crisis" and that their task is "to make sure noone is doomed, to help the poor and the weak". "Justice cannot be privatized and exist for some but not for others," she added.
Iotova thanked President Radev "for the good team work for Bulgaria's welfare". BTA
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