Elections 2009 - Parties

National Movement for Stability and Progress (NMSP)

The National Movement for Stability and Progress (NMSP) was initially formed as the National Movement "Simeon the Second" (NMSS) in the spring of 2001, after the former Tsar of Bulgaria Simeon II Saxe-Coburg (deposed in 1946 at the age of 9) returned to Bulgaria from Spain, and entered Bulgarian politics.
On April 6, 2001, Saxe-Coburg declared his decision to participate actively in Bulgaria's political life.

In June 2001, the NMSS ran in the Parliamentary Elections under the registration of the Movement "Oborishte" and the Bulgarian Women's Party because at the time NMSS still did not have its own legal registration.

As Saxe-Coburg's personality and promises attracted thousands of eager supporters, the NMSS won an overwhelming victory 42,74% (1 953 000 votes), and got 120 seats in the 240-seat Parliament, one short of an absolute majority.

The NMSS formed a coalition government with the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) which had 21 MPs. The DPS got two Ministers, while two other Ministers, Kalchev and Paskalev, came from the ranks of the Bulgarian Socialist Party even though it was not part of the coalition but in opposition on the left.

Thus, Saxe-Coburg became the first former monarch in world history to become a Prime Minister under a republican constitution. The NMSS party was formally founded in April 2002 by 900 delegates in Sofia.
In March 2004, 11 MPs left the party to form a new parliamentary group and later a new party called "The New Time," marking the beginning of the NMSS splits.
The Saxe-Coburg government presided over Bulgaria's accession to NATO in May 2004. In April 2005, PM Saxe-Coburg formally signed Bulgaria's EU Accession Treaty.
The NMSS party initially declared itself a conservative formation, and applied for membership with the European People's Party (EPP). After the rejection of the application over the opposition of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), already an EPP member from Bulgaria, the NMSS steered towards the center, turning into a liberal and centrist formation, to become a full member of the Liberal International during its Sofia Congress in May 2005.
In June 2005, the NMSS came in second in the Parliamentary Elections losing more than half of its votes. It got 19,9% (725 314 votes), and 51 MPs.
During the election campaign, the NMSS repeatedly said it would not enter in coalition with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). After BSP failed to set up a Cabinet, the President offered the mandate to the NMSS, leading to a second unsuccessful attempt to create a new government. Finally, with the mandate of the third largest parliamentary group, the DPS, and after two-month long negotiations, the BSP, the NMSS, and the DPS formed a government of the so called three-way coalition. The BSP leader Sergey Stanishev became Prime Minister, and the BSP got 8 Ministers, the NMSS - 5 Ministers, and the DPS - 3 Ministers.
On January 1, 2007, the three-way coalition government presided over Bulgaria's accession to the EU.
During the June 3, 2007 Party Congress, the NMSS split in two main fractions. The faction around Plamen Panayotov (the so-called "lawyers' lobby"), accused their colleagues (the so called "yuppies' lobby), who were backing Milen Velchev of manipulating the intra-party vote.
Several months later, 17 MPs (of the lawyers' lobby) left the party; 4 were expelled by the leader, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, and the rest left at their own will. They later formed the "Bulgarian New Democracy" (BND) parliamentary group, and a party with the same name.
The NMSS party congress on June 3, 2007 changed the party's name to National Movement for Stability and Progress (NMSP). After the legitimacy of this congress was disputed, the name was changed again to the same wording on October 18, 2008.
In January 2007, Meglena Kuneva from NMSP became the first Bulgarian Commissioner with the European Commission in Brussels in charge of consumer protection. In May 2009, Kuneva was nominated as the No. 1 candidate on the NMSP ticket for the 2009 European Parliament Elections.

Ideology/Social Base
The NMSP defines itself as a centrist and liberal political party. It initially proclaimed itself a conservative formation, and tried to gain admission to the European People's Party but its attempt failed over the opposition of Bulgaria's UDF, already an EPP member.

Eventually, the NMSP proclaimed firm support for the contemporary liberal principles and values, and strictly defined itself as a centrist formation. In 2005, it gained admission to the Liberal International. Its core principles refer to the development of Bulgarian business, people's entrepreneurship, free competition, and modern institutions.
Under NMSP's influence, the three-way coalition government dominated by the Socialist Party has in fact implemented taxation policies that are untypical for the socialists, including lower taxes and flat corporate and income tax rates.
The social base of the NSMP is supposed to be composed of business owners, urban professionals, and the wider middle class. Yet, the party's popularity has been on the wane, according to all public opinion polls.

Electoral Performance
In June 2001, the NMSP won overwhelmingly with 42,74% (1 953 000 votes), and got 120 seats in the 240-seat Parliament, one short of an absolute majority.
In June 2005, the NMSS came in second in the Parliamentary Elections losing more than half of its votes. It got 19,9% (725 314 votes), and 51 MPs.
In Bulgaria's first ever European Parliament Elections in May 2007, the NMSP received 6,27% (121 000 votes), and got 1 MEP out of a total of 18 Bulgarian MEPs.

International Political Affiliation
Member of the Liberal International since May 2005
Member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group in the European Parliament since May 2007

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