Outraged Bulgarians to Stage New Rally against 'FBI' Head Election

Politics » DOMESTIC | June 15, 2013, Saturday // 10:08
Outraged Bulgarians Stage New Rally against 'FBI' Head Election: Outraged Bulgarians to Stage New Rally against 'FBI' Head Election Over 10 000 people attended the rally in the Bulgarian capital Sofia against the election of a controversial businessman and MP as national security chief. Photo by BGNES

New protest rallies are planned in Bulgaria against the election of controversial businessman Delyan Peevski as the new head of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security (DANS).

The protest in Sofia Saturday evening will be held once again in front of the Council of Ministers.

Outside Bulgaria, a rally is scheduled for Saturday evening in front of the European Parliament building in Brussels.

The Parliament voted Friday to approve the nomination of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, who proposed to have Peevski, a controversial Member of the Parliament from the liberal ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), to lead DANS.

In a move, stunning both MPs from the opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, of former Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and parliamentary reporters, Oresharski proposed at the beginning of the sitting to have a new item on the agenda – election of new DANS Director.

The request caused outraged GERB MPs to leave plenary hall.

Oresharski then proceeded to nominate Peevski. The controversial MP was then quickly elected as the new head of the agency with the votes of his own party and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, despite GERB returning to plenary hall and a repeat vote on their request.

The election caused widespread outrage in Bulgaria.

Large protest rallies were held Friday evening in Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Pazardzhik, Blagoevgrad, and Shumen among others.

According to official data of the police, over 10 000 have gathered in the capital.

The rally in Sofia was held under strong police presence with key buildings – of the presidential administration, the government and the parliament, surrounded by metal fences.

Nova TV reported that cell phones have been silenced and internet communication has been very difficult.

Former GERB Regional Minister, Lilyana Pavlova, and former GERB Economy and Energy Minister, Delyan Dobrev, have been spotted among the demonstrators, despite Borisov's "order" banning attendance of popular GERB figures.

Former leader of the right-wing party Union of Democratic Forces, UDF, Martin Dimitrov, also joined the rally, which was reported as peaceful and without incidents.

Demonstrators from all ages, including families with small children, people with their pets, and groups of young people held banners, blew whistles, waved the national colors, and shouted against the mafia, Oresharski, and the leader of BSP, Sergey Stanishev.

The rally later moved to the Parliament and later to the key Eagles' Bridge intersection, which was blocked by the demonstrators.

They did not allow a crew of TV7, a media linked to Peevski, to broadcast footage from the protest, forcing them to move to the balcony of a nearby hotel.

Around 10 pm, the protesting people split with a few staying on Eagles' Bridge and the others returning to the parliament.

The rally ended around midnight Friday.

On Friday, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev canceled his participation in the inauguration of the second Danube Bridge linking Bulgaria and Romania after the shocking election.

He criticized it strongly and urged the parliament to "immediately" retract its decision.

Speaking on public TV Friday evening, the President reiterated his outrage from the move and confirmed he has lifted his trust from the Cabinet "Oresharski."

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Tags: Lilyana Pavlova, UDF, Martin Dimitrov, rallies, protest, Rosen Plevneliev, Delyan Peevski, Boyko Borisov, DANS, GERB, Plamen Oresharski, Sergey Stanishev, Bulgarian Socialist Party, ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, DPS, TV7, Delyan Dobrev
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