Moments after resignation accepted, Borissov hits the campaign trail – symbolically

Written by on February 21, 2013 in Bulgaria, News - No comments

Boiko Borissov began his campaign to get his job as Prime Minister back just moments after his government’s resignation was accepted, lashing out at opponents in Parliament and stepping out of the National Assembly to greet a crowd there to support him.

Borissov alleged that Ahmed Dogan, long-time leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and now that party’s honorary president, had ordered his murder in a plot in revenge for Borissov acting against international organised crime. He challenged senior MRF MP Hristo Biserov to read the report alleging this, based on information from an unnamed “partner intelligence headquarters”.

Like ruling party GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, the MRF is set to be one of the three biggest parties in the next Bulgarian Parliament after the ahead-of-term elections expected in April.

After a four-hour debate, at which Borissov appeared only at the last moment, Parliament voted on February 21 2013 to accept the resignation of his government that he had announced the day before.

When he announced that his government was stepping down, Borissov said that he refused to preside over an administration when there was blood on the pavement – a reference to a violent incident in Sofia the previous night – and spoke out against Parliament having to be behind security barriers. At the time, he said that he loved to walk among the people.

In what came across as a pointed demonstration of this, after the vote in the National Assembly ended, Borissov led his Cabinet out of Parliament. Accompanied by Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Borissov stood on a low wall outside Parliament’s front door to express his thanks to a crowd of a few hundred supporters waving Bulgarian and GERB flags.

He called on people not to hold protests in the evening and urged supporters not to march on the socialist party headquarters, saying that anyone who did so would be considered a provocateur. “Everyone who loves and respects me will go home,” Borissov said.

After these brief remarks, including thanking those who had arranged to bring farm animals as a gesture of stockbreeders’ support for him, Borissov plunged into the crowd, taking a walking circuit over the yellow cobblestones in the square in front of Parliament, exchanging greetings as the crowd chanted, in Bulgarian, “victory” and “Boiko”. As bodyguards did their best to keep up and shield him, Borissov then led his phalanx, with photographers dashing around him, back into the corridors of Parliament.

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About the Author

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015).