Sofia Rises on 9th Day of Protest as PES Round Up Council

Society | June 22, 2013, Saturday // 19:17
Bulgaria: Sofia Rises on 9th Day of Protest as PES Round Up Council Protesters in front of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, where PES held their council Saturday. Photo by

Thousands have gathered in front of the Council of Ministers in the center of Bulgarian capital Sofia Saturday evening for the latest of a string of anti-governmental protests.

Protesters are calling for the resignation of new Bulgarian PM Plamen Oresharski, after a string of calling controversial appointments.

The Oresharski cabinet was elected on the mandate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, whose leader Sergey Stanishev also chairs the Party of European Socialists.

Saturday PES held their annual Council at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, where several hundred ralliers had assembled to express their disaffection with Stanishev.

At the Council, PES decided to nominate European Parliament President Martin Schulz for their candidate for next European Commission President.

Stanishev was reported to be a favorite in the PES nomination, but he did not come to be named by the party Saturday.

However, PES expressed strong support with the efforts of the Bulgarian Socialists and the Oresharski cabinet in their efforts to overcome the political and economic crisis in Bulgaria.

The 10,000-strong protests in Bulgarian capital Sofia started June 14, upon Oresharski's nomination of controversial media mogul and liberal MP Delyan Peevski for director of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security (DANS).

The nomination was swiftly retracted, but that did not appease protesters, who proceeded to request Oresharski's resignation.

Since then, traffic in Sofia's center has been blocked by the massive rallies for 8 consecutive evenings.

A smaller rally is being held Saturday in Bulgaria's third-largest city Varna.

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Tags: Party of European Socialists, PES, Sergey Stanishev, Martin Schulz, protest, Plamen Oresharski, DANS, Delyan Peevski
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