More than 1000 people turned out for the “333” anti-government protest in Sofia on May 12 2014.
It was the largest turnout for some time in the anti-government protests, which started on June 14 after the abortive appointment of controversial figure Delyan Peevski as head of the State Agency for National Security.
The protest was called as Bulgaria is less than two weeks away from its May 25 European Parliament elections, in which Peevski is a candidate MEP for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.
Peevski, who several months earlier complained that there was a campaign against him out of jealousy that he was a “successful young man of 33”, was invited in a Facebook post and in a message to MRF headquarters to attend the May 12 protest.
Organisers said that they wanted to ask him about his success and his stance on European issues.
Peevski did not take up the invitation.
Participants in the procession took a route past the party headquarters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, MRF and Ataka, which all were guarded by police.
Chants included, “who burnt the flag?” a reference to an incident on May 9 in which a European Union flag was set ablaze in front of the Soviet Army monument in Sofia. Anti-government protesters and official opposition GERB have demanded a response on the incident from the BSP, whose leader Sergei Stanishev – also leader of the EU-wide Party of European Socialists – earlier had attended a celebration at the monument of the Soviet victory in 1945.
(Photo: Asen Genov)