An immediate focus of fascination at the Movement for Rights and Freedoms’ election night news conference was Delyan Peevski, the controversial figure whose nomination in June 2013 as head of the State Agency for National Security unleashed months of protests demanding the resignation of the government.
Peevski, second on the candidate list of the MRF in Bulgaria’s May 25 2014 European Parliament elections, appeared at the news conference in what was his first public event facing reporters for many months – the only other media appearances having been in media interviews with agencies owned by his family.
He had been a no-show even at MRF election events and has not been seen in the National Assembly in the months since the SANS controversy, even though the Constitutional Court twice turned down challenges to his being an MP, challenges mounted on the grounds that he had taken the oath as head of SANS.
After formally thanking those who voted for him and the MRF structures for their role in his election, Peevski took a sideswipe at those who had been “threatened” by his nomination to head SANS (which was swiftly withdrawn amid public outrage about it) and said that he had accepted the nomination “to give something back to Bulgaria”.
He made mention of the months of hearing “Peevski, Peevski, who, who”, a reference to the anti-government protest slogan demanding to know who really had been behind his nomination to become the head of SANS.
Peevski said that the situation had become such that he wanted to withdraw from politics and sketched his hurt at the “false allegations” made against his family, saying that those who had made such allegations had done so, “to order”.
To a question whether he would take up his seat as an MEP – Peevski was second on the list of the MRF candidates, and the party, going by exit polls, has won four seats – he said that he felt a “moral obligation” to do so given that structures had nominated him, but would instead give his seat to Iskra Mihailova, now environment minister in the Oresharski government.