Ataka, Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalist party, is starting to collect signatures for a petition for a national referendum on extending the moratorium on the sale of land to foreigners, Siderov said on November 8 2013.
He told reporters that Ataka intended collecting the required 500 000 signatures.
In the May 2013 parliamentary elections, Ataka got 258 481 votes, according to official Central Election Commission results.
Siderov’s announcement in the latest twist in the saga after the 42nd National Assembly approved a resolution that he had tabled calling for the extension of the moratorium, due to end on January 1 2014, to the year 2020.
Approved with the support of centre-right opposition GERB and most Bulgarian Socialist Party MPs – the latter a fact that caused serious ructions in the party – the resolution is being taken to the Constitutional Court by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which voted against it.
Bulgaria’s cabinet has not acted on the referendum, which – among other things – would require renegotiation of the country’s European Union accession treaty.
Zinaida Zlatanova, a former European Commission representative in Sofia who now acts as one of the BSP government’s three deputy prime ministers, said earlier that the resolution could not be implemented because it was unconstitutional.
Speaking in the National Assembly on November 8, Siderov said that whether the moratorium extension was constitutional was not a judgment that Zlatanova was competent to make. This could be decided only by the Constitutonal Court, Siderov said.
He told reporters that Ataka had come up with the idea of a national referendum because of the government’s failure to act.
“We will try to collect 500 000 signatures, there is not much time, but we must do it, because time is running out”.
He said that Ataka would set up points in all of Bulgaria’s cities and towns to collect signatures. “We have the stated desire of people who are not members of the party and who want to participate, because the topic affects them,” Siderov said.
“If the Bulgarian people say that they do not want to sell Bulgarian land to foreigners, then the government and parliament must comply.”
The desire of the people could move the government to justify to Bulgaria’s European partners to change to the EU accession treaty.
“There is no contract that is not subject to annexe or addendum. If they are our friends, they will understand,” Siderov said.