Controversial Bulgarian Conservatives Name Presidential Runner
The controversial Bulgarian conservative Law Order and Justice (RZS) party has endorsed its own Presidential candidate, its deputy leader, Atanas Semov.
"Instead of destroying us, the ruling party's attacks against us have made us stronger," the party's leader, Yane Yanev, declared after Semov was elected. He referred to the relations between RZS and the ruling centrist-right GERB. While the conservative marginal RZS initially supported GERB when it took over in 2009, it soon moved to become its vocal opposition.
Yanev, a regular whistleblower, was also among RZS's possible Presidential nominees. On Sunday, he stated his party is stronger than ever.
The formation is believed to be the mouthpiece of notorious former National State Security Service agent and alleged mafia boss, Alexei Pertov, who announced he was running for President already in 2010, but recently claimed he was withdrawing from the race.
It was RZS and the Galeria tabloid, also believed to be tied with Petrov, who recently distributed allegedly recorded phone conversations, discrediting high GERB officials, including Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Semov, a EU law expert and vice chair of the Bulgarian Parliament, is the fifth runner to enter the Presidential race. The other candidates until now are Volen Siderov, leader of the nationalistic Ataka (Attack) party; non partisan former EU Commissioner Meglena Kuneva; former deputy Agriculture Minister Rumen Hristov from the rightist Blue Coalition and former Ataka member Pavel Chernev.
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