The veto by Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev of crucial parts of the Budget 2013 amendments approved by Bulgarian Socialist Party and Movement for Rights and Freedoms MPs has lent new fury to the campaign by the parties in power to demonise the head of state.
After the May 2013 elections resulted in the second-ranked Bulgarian Socialist Party being able, with the direct support of the MRF and the tacit backing of ultra-nationalists Ataka, to take power in Bulgaria, Plevneliev remained the last significant state figure in office whose background had been with the former ruling party, Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB.
Although Plevneliev, a successful private sector figure before recruited by Borissov to public office, has been careful since becoming head of state in January 2012 to underline that he is guided solely by the non-partisanship of his role as set out in the constitution, his detractors consistently seek to daub him as a servant of Borissov and GERB.
The socialist party has gone so far as, in the words of one of its MEPs Iliana Yotova, as to suggest that when Bulgaria elects its European Parliament members in May 2014, they too should elect a new head of state.
Yotova picked up on the demands in several quarters for new national parliamentary elections on that date to suggest that May 2014 should see “three-in-one” elections – for European Parliament, national Parliament and President.
This is a ludicrously far-fetched scenario because in real terms, the President is in no danger of losing his office, however inconvenient the current ruling BSP-MRF (and Ataka) regime may find Plevneliev.
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