Bulgarian Nationalist Leader Sets Out to Conquer Presidency

Politics » DOMESTIC | February 12, 2011, Saturday // 19:05| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Nationalist Leader Sets Out to Conquer Presidency Siderov is pictured here in Plovdiv in October 2010 at a rally against the EU membership of Turkey. Photo by BGNES

Volen Siderov, leader of Bulgarian nationalist party "Ataka" ("Attack") has declared the start of his campaign for the presidential elections in October 2011.

Speaking in his native city of Yambol in Southeastern Bulgaria, Siderov declared his party now has the edge before the others because of the fact that it has announced its candidate. He did urge the other parties pick their candidates as well, as cited by BNR.

The leader of the most prominent nationalist formation in Bulgaria since 2005 has been a crucial informal ally of Bulgaria's center-right Borisov Cabinet since it took over in mid 2009, providing it with backing in Parliament in addition to the votes of the ruling party GERB.

Siderov made a rather strong run for the Bulgarian Presidency back in 2006 when he came in second in the first round only to lose in the run-off to Georgi Parvanov, the candidate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party that he chaired in the late 1990s.

Siderov lost to Parvanov 76% to 24% in the second round (he received some 700 000 votes vs 2 million for Parvanov) in what was described as the Bulgarian version of the French presidential elections from 2002 in which all mainstream political forces backed Chirac against Jean Marie Le Penn of the French National Front.

Yet, it is uncertain if Siderov might enjoy the same kind of support in 2010 as back in 2006 his rhetoric and actions were a lot more radical, drawing the support of disgruntled people from small-town and rural Bulgaria.

In Yambol, the nationalist also declared his expectations that the Ataka party will do better in the local elections (to be held together with the Presidential vote in October) than it did the previous time in 2007.

Siderov also stated that Prime Minister Borisov must not dismiss Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov from the government in spite of the discrediting attack against the latter in the recent months. The nationalist leader is convinced that Tsvetanov has contributed a great deal to Bulgaria's fight against organized crime, which is why he is the target of attacks.

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Tags: Volen Siderov, Ataka, 2011 elections, Presidential elections, Georgi Parvanov, nationalists, nationalist
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