Infamous Bulgarian Coalition Falls Apart
Bulgaria's short-lived, questionable coalition "For Order, Law and Justice with Mareshki" has fallen apart.
It was reported at the end of November that the scandalous leader of the Bulgarian conservative Order, Law and Justice party, RZS, Yane Yanev, has pooled efforts with the controversial Varna businessman, founder and owner of a large low-cost drug store chain, Vesselin Mareshki, to make a new foray together onto the large political scene in 2013.
Yanev said Sunday his party's political council has decided to show respect for the opinion of Varna people that Mareshki, along with Mayor Kiril Yordanov and other officials, has turned into a symbol of corruption, by "breaking up" with the businessman.
The RZS leader declared that effective March 3 his party is launching a new political campaign under the motto "join politics, change the system." He explained the parliamentary seats that would have been won from Mareshki's quota, would be given to citizens and civic organizations.
The news of the breakup was confirmed from Varna by Mareshki, who told reporters he was ready to run solo at the upcoming snap general election in May, but would announce his detailed plan on Monday.
His appearance at the protest rally in the city prompted huge outrage and shouts "mafia" and "don't turn the protests political." One participant even spit on him.
Mareshki told the crowd he did not want to politicize the rally and called on Varna municipal council to resign.
He insisted he was an honest businessman and pledged to answer questions of any Varna resident while undergoing a lie detector test.
The information about the breakup comes amidst unprecedented since 1997 huge protest rallies against utility bills monopolies, poverty and the political model of ruling the country, lasting for weeks already and ongoing on Sunday.
They led to the resignation of the government of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.
At the time of its establishment, the coalition stated it 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.
After threatening to "fire" Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, during the 2011 presidential elections, and calling him Bulgaria's Kaddafi, several months ago Yanev became notorious once again by turning into Borisov's and GERB's 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 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, and lost the runoff the Yordanov.
Mareshki's name was linked to allegations of vote buying during the previous local elections, when he also ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Varna.
Back then he allegedly handed out BGN 100 bills to teachers who had walked off the job in protest against small wages and to retirees purchasing medications from his drug stores. The businessman had promised them more money in case he became elected.
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