Woman self-immolates outside Bulgarian President’s building
A woman was admitted to Sofia’s Pirogov emergency hospital on November 3 with severe burns after setting herself on fire outside the Bulgarian President’s building.
Eyewitness accounts said that at about 3.45pm, the woman stopped her car near the fountains in front of the Presidency, poured inflammable liquid over herself and set herself on fire.
National Bodyguard Service, police and bystanders rushed to stem the flames. Firefighters and an emergency ambulance arrived soon afterwards.
The woman was named in media reports as a 38-year-old with no police record. Her motives were not known.
Self-immolations, previously unheard-of in Bulgaria, occured in a series of incidents in 2013, especially around anti-government protests in the early part of the year. Some of the self-immolations were political protests but others were the result of financial or personal problems, going by reports at the time.
The incident took place as head of state President Rossen Plevneliev was holding the latest in a series of meetings with political parties elected to the new National Assembly, part of a process required by the constitution ahead of the President handing a mandate to Parliament’s largest party to seek to form a government.