Scandals, Dissent Shake Bulgaria's Nationalist Party
The parliamentary group of Bulgaria's far-right, nationalist Ataka party is shaken by new scandals and dissent, almost two years after the start of their last term.
Four Ataka Members of the Parliament are threatening to leave the group, which fell apart in full during the previous term. The four are said to be Valentin Ivanov, Kiril Gumnerov, Ognyan Peychev, and Dimitar Karbov. Kamen Penkov recently left the group.
Valentin Ivanov, quoted by the Bulgarian daily Dnevnik, confirmed the dispute stems from the so-called "loyalty declarations" scandal, where Ataka MPs were forced to sign promissory notes which were later used as collateral for a EUR 150 000 loan for an offshore company, registered in the Seychelles.
The prosecutor's probe concluded there is no crime because they did not find any evidence of coercion, but MPs said Wednesday they have been asking the party leader Volen Siderov for a year now to destroy the notes without any result.
The Ataka leadership has been unavailable for comments.
Regardless of the outcome, it would not influence the balance in the Parliament because in addition to the 117 of its own MPs, the cabinet of the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party has the support of 6 independent MPs.
GERB reject reports that lately the relations between Siderov and Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, have suffered gravely – the concrete reason, allegedly, have been Siderov's demands to remove the news broadcast aired in Turkish from the program line-up of the Bulgarian National Television, BNT – demands that were rejected by Borisov.
The GERB Leadership says they hope their partners from Ataka will understand the GERB party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and this prevents them from supporting nationalist's ideas and opinions.
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