FORUM

BYE-BYE, IVAN GESHEV

Three years after the event, the massive street protests that blocked the traffic in Central Sofia in the course of months, in 2020, seem to have achieved their original aims. Firstly, Boyko Borisov is no longer prime minister, and stands little chance of being reelected again. Second, Ivan Geshev has been fired as general prosecutor, the Bulgarian equivalent of the US attorney general, the British director of public prosecutions, Germany's federal public prosecutor general and France's procureur général. One of his deputies, Borislav Sarafov, was appointed a caretaker replacement.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

END OF 'MAFIA STATE'?

If anyone believed that the CC-DB, or Changes Continued-Democratic Bulgaria alliance, who lost the April election and are now the second largest party in the Bulgarian National Assembly, were serious in their declared and oft-repeated pledges they wanted to dismantle what they called Boyko Borisov's "mafia state" must have been in for a a bit of a surprise. According to a twelfth-hour agreement, GERB and the CC-DB announced they would actually become friends (!) in the name of "civilisational choices" and "geopolitical orientation" instead.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

LONG LIVE RED ARMY MONUMENT!

Whenever developed democracies hold a general election, at stake – usually – are pressing issues of the day. Oil, terrorism, immigration. Nuclear weapons. Abortion rights. Inflation. Climate change. The cost of living...

Not in Bulgaria, however. The election campaign – tepid even in Bulgarian standards – ahead of the 2 April ballot, focused on... a pile of stones in central Sofia. In an almost verbatim repetition of the old adage, some political parties bill it a monument to terrorists whereas others see it as a monument to... freedom fighters.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

WHO IS WHO AND WHO WANTS WHAT IN THE UPCOMING BULGARIAN GENERAL ELECTION?

It was called by President Rumen Radev, who is now the de facto ruler of this country, acting through the caretaker governments he appoints, because the previous election, in October 2022, failed to produce any kind of political alignment that could form a credible government.

There are indications that the same type of impasse may result after the next election, but there are some important details analysts, voters and observers should take into consideration.

A total of 23 political parties and alliances have registered to take part in the ballot.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

BYE-BYE, SCHENGEN

The Netherlands and Austria have decided not to endorse Bulgaria's acceptance in Schengen, the European system for police and legal cooperation that allows for passport-less travel between member states. The Dutch and the Austrians think Bulgaria has failed to reform its judiciary and police, and that the rule of law remains a distant prospect. Significantly, they do not see Bulgaria as a reliable partner in the Schengen Information System, or SIS, especially not when it comes to the sharing of sensitive and confidential data.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

WHAT ABOUT ROMANIA?

Especially in recent years Bulgarian politicians of various inclinations periodically trumpet that this country has fulfilled all the "technical requirements" for membership of Schengen, the police cooperation agreement between most EU states. They have implied that it should perhaps become a member of Schengen prior to Romania, the other former East bloc state that is in the EU but outside of Schengen.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

WHO ARE VAZRAZHDANE'S VOTERS?

Since the fall of Communism in 1989 and the introduction of multiparty elections the following year Bulgarians have been given a Constitutional right to go to the polls regardless of whether they actually live in Bulgaria or not. Whether this is good or bad is a question that political scientists continue arguing about. Some developed democracies (Italy, France) allow it, others (Denmark) do not. In the case of Bulgaria, the provision was originally implemented in an attempt to ensure voting rights for about half a million Bulgarian Turks.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

IS CHANGES CONTINUED TO BE CONTINUED?

The most readily available explanation why the Changes Continued government collapsed, propagated by former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and former Finance Minister Asen Vasilev themselves, is that because it stepped on so many corrupt toes within a short period of time the backlash from its opponents became impossible to withstand.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

IS IT REALLY ABOUT MAKEDONIYA-A-A?

Slavi Trifonov, the showman and crooner credited with propagating chalga culture in Bulgaria, could not have put it more plainly. As he "withdrew" his ministers from the outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's reformist government, thus causing a major political crisis, he let out a rallying cry: "It's for Makedoniya-a-a!" His message was simple, yet powerful.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment