Bulgarian President’s ‘Pro-Russia Stance’ Sparks Protest

On Tuesday evening, pro-EU protesters will rally near the presidency and the Ministerial Council in Sofia, accusing President Rumen Radev of undermining the parliamentary system and hampering efforts to form a government after a two years of repeated elections.

"The president has long shown that he does not work for the benefit of Bulgarian society and for Bulgarian interests, but for Russian ones," said a statement by protest organisers Vera Staevska and Katerina Bogdanova.

"We won't allow Bulgaria to become Belarus," they added.

After opposing political forces We Continue the Change and GERB agreed on a cabinet last week, negotiations on forming an administration after Bulgaria's most recent inconclusive election stalled, and some saw the shadow of President Radev in the logjam.

They believe it is in Radev's interest to prolong Bulgaria's political turmoil, which would allow him to govern the country through a series of interim cabinets, just as he has in the last two years.

On Monday, Radev handed the government-forming mandate to We Continue the Change, which agreed on an experimental 18-month cabinet with its biggest opponents, GERB.

The plan would see the parties nominating individual prime ministers to govern in rotation: the first nine months would be under the flag of We Continue the Change's Nickolay Denkov, while the second would be under the control of GERB's Mariya Gabriel.

However, talks stalled after We Continue the Change member Radostin Vassilev leaked a four-hour audio recording, alleging party leaders Kiril Petkov and Assen Vassilev are making arrangements for national security service reform in accordance with the EU and the US, which he said he sees as treachery.

The National Security...

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