Parliament Forms Committee to Probe Football Fans' Protest Violence

Politics | November 24, 2023, Friday // 14:05
Bulgaria: Parliament Forms Committee to Probe Football Fans' Protest Violence

In a 123-28 vote with 31 abstentions, Parliament established an ad hoc committee to investigate the November 16 protest by football fans against the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU). The motion, spearheaded by GERB-UDF floor leader Dessislava Atanassova, aims to delve into the events that transpired during what began as a peaceful rally but escalated into clashes between hooligans and law enforcement.

The protests turned violent, prompting scrutiny over alleged police brutality, captured in multiple social media videos. Calls for Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov's resignation surfaced, met with a willingness for his replacement by the Prime Minister, albeit with resistance from GERB and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

The newly formed committee, led by Atanas Atanassov, seeks to determine if Interior Ministry regulations and rally protocols were followed. Its mandate spans one month and includes assessing the need for legislative amendments.

Supported by several parliamentary groups, the committee's establishment sparked controversy. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms deemed it "unlawful," citing existing investigative mechanisms within the Interior Ministry. Vazrazhdane raised concerns over the committee chair, citing potential conflict of interest.

GERB leader Boyko Borissov emphasized the need for transparency, stressing the importance of understanding the circumstances that led to the protest's escalation and addressing the use of excessive force by law enforcement.

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Tags: football fans, protest, Ad Hoc, committee

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