Bulgarian poet and veteran right-wing political activist Edvin Sugarev has declined an appeal in an open letter from a group of intellectuals to end his hunger strike against the Bulgarian Socialist Party government.
Sugarev began the hunger strike on June 26 2013 as part of wider protests nationwide demanding the immediate resignation of the socialist government, which was formed in May with the support of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and tacit support of Ataka.
A former member of the Seventh Grand National Assembly in the 1990s and twice a member of Parliament, Sugarev – a 59-year-old vegetarian – has previous experience in hunger strikes amid political crises.
In the early 1990s, he was among MPs for the centre-right Union of Democratic Forces who held a hunger strike against the socialist government of the time and in June 1993, Sugarev went on hunger strike against Zhelyu Zhelev, then-president of Bulgaria who had been elected on a UDF ticket, after Sugarev felt that Zhelev had betrayed the UDF’s values.
Sugarev’s 1993 hunger strike lasted from June 7 to 27, ending when Zhelev made an appeal for the resolution of political problems through political engagement rather than passive resistance.
Sugarev’s continuing hunger strike in June 2013 prompted the open letter, signed by a number of academics and other intellectuals.
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(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer, The Sofia Globe)