INTERVIEW WITH SOFIA MAYOR STEFAN SOFIANSKI CONDUCTED BY STANDART DAILY

Business | June 21, 2001, Thursday // 00:00

Mr. Sofianski, what will you do if they `chip you off` from the UDF because of your statement?
- No one can appropriate my ideas. I have never made any compromise when it comes to ideas. Compromising is not something typical of my family. Whatever decision they make at 134, Rakovski St., nobody can clean off the slate my 12-year record of service in the UDF. I am the UDF member and will remain one.
What mistakes contributed to the UDF loss in the elections?
- The fact that UDF has only 51 seats in the parliament after these elections is beyond the pale. Even in the much gloomier periods we have never had so few. I have long warned Ivan (PM Kostov) in private conversations that the results on June 17 will turn out to be different from the expected and we have to consider the idea of forming a coalition government. I also warned him the King enjoys ever growing support. I have repeated that to Ivan Kostov in very worried overtones. However, my warnings fell on deaf ear. Before the election we had a meeting, where, much to my regret, they wouldn`t listen to me. Then I was trying to repeat time and again that our election campaign should be positive, we must take a firm stand and be ready to work within a coalition government. Once more no one would listen me out before the election. If they did it on the eve of the election, the public consciousness would have been prepared to embrace the idea of a coalition government. After the King appeared on the political arena we have to be well aware that the BSP is leaving it forever.
Whom would you name as a unifying figure in the UDF?
- I do not know who can make it, but whoever he might be we have to back him up. Because it contradicts logic when you don`t know what to do after the election results are not in your favor. I mean Ivan Kostov again. For the last time I saw him on the election night, it was the most awful night in my whole life. I`ve noticed that he didn`t greet His Majesty Simeon II while he should have done it as a man of dignity.
What do you think of Kostov after the election?
- My opinion hasn`t changed much. I feel respect to Ivan Kostov as a person. At certain instances I even was afraid of him, but he is a strong man. Be as it may, I refuse to accept that a strong man like Kostov was defeated by a 33-year-old girl and hasn`t drawn any conclusions from the fact yet.
President Stoyanov made a statement very similar to yours in essence. Have your intentions been coordinated?
- No, I haven`t talked with the President, we had no preliminary agreement whatsoever. When I made my statement, I first thought it over and was aware that it may provoke negative reaction of some UDF members. This, however, doesn`t bother me, my stand is honest and sincere. No one exerted influence on me.

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