Bulgaria Controversial Politician, Shady Businessman Team Up

Politics » DOMESTIC | November 27, 2012, Tuesday // 18:30
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Controversial Politician, Shady Businessman Team Up The new coalition between the party of Yane Yanev (L) and Vesselin Mareshki (R) is expected to be officially presented in the short term. Photo by BGNES

The scandalous leader of a Bulgarian conservative party has pooled efforts with a controversial businessman, founder and owner of a large low-cost drug store chain to make a new foray together onto the large political scene next year.

The new coalition between Yane Yanev's party "Order, Law and Justice party" (RZS) and Vesselin Mareshki will be officially presented in the short term, the businessman said in an interview for Darik radio.

The coalition will be named "For Order, Law and Justice with Mareshki", apparently putting an emphasis on the businessman's role.

"Yane Yanev's name will not be part of the coalition's title since his party is known well enough," Mareshki explained.

The coalition has set eyes on going into the top three parties at next year's general elections and views the formation of former European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva as its arch rival.

"She (Kuneva) pretends to be very sweet and speaks without saying anything. She thinks she may mislead people into thinking she is nice woman. The question is what she did before coming into politics, who brought her here," fumed Mareshki.

After threatening to "fire" Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, during the 2011 presidential elections, and calling him Bulgaria's Caddafi, Yanev recently became notorious once again by turning into Borisov's and his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, strongest ally.

Vesselin Mareshki is a controversial Bulgarian businessman, founder and owner of the eponymous large low-cost drug store chain, whose fortune is estimated to exceed BGN 95 M.

He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of the coastal city of Varna in the local elections in October last year, supported by an initiative committee and a coalition of smaller parties.

Mareshki's name was linked to allegations of vote buying during the previous local elections, when he also ran for mayor of Varna.

Back then he allegedly handed out banknotes of BGN 100 to teachers who had walked off the job in protest against small wages. The businessman had promised them more money in case he become elected, which he failed to do.

Police searched his offices, but tensions with the country's law enforcement have apparently eased during the term of the current GERB government.

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Tags: Vesselin Mareshki, Meglena Kuneva, Yane Yanev, Boyko Borisov, elections, 2013

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