The Bulgarian Socialist Party voted on September 10 to expel Georgi Kadiev from its parliamentary group because of his announcement that he would stand for mayor of Sofia in October as a rival to the party’s official mayoral candidate.
The vote took place behind closed doors. The BSP has 39 MPs, and 37 voted in favour of expelling Kadiev. The two MPs absent were Ombudsman-elect Maya Manolova and Kadiev himself.
Kadiev confirmed on September 9 that he would stand as an independent candidate in the mayoral elections on October 25, and hinted at the possibility of embarking on a new political project – while saying that he did not want to quit either the BSP or its parliamentary group.
Ahead of the vote, BSP leader Mihail Mikov had said that he would vote to expel Kadiev.
It is expected that there will be moves to expel Kadiev from the party itself.
Kadiev was the BSP’s candidate for mayor of Sofia in 2009 and 2011, on both occasions losing to GERB candidate Yordanka Fandukova. In 2015, the BSP opted not to field Kadiev again but to nominate academic Mihail Mirchev.
Over the years, Kadiev frequently has been at odds with the BSP leadership, first under long-standing leader Sergei Stanishev, who headed the BSP from the end of 2001 until 2014, and then with current leader Mikov.
On June 10, Kadiev narrowly escaped expulsion from the parliamentary group because he ran against the party line by proposing a bill that would have allowed election campaigning in languages other than Bulgarian.
Kadiev has said that he hopes that in the October 2015 mayoral elections, he will be supported by a “broad coalition” of political forces across the political spectrum. Georgi Purvanov’s socialist breakaway ABC party, one of the two smallest parties in the current National Assembly, has hinted that it would consider supporting a Kadiev candidacy.
The departure of Kadiev from the opposition BSP parliamentary group, the second-largest in Parliament, reduces its number by one to 38. Parliament’s largest party is Boiko Borissov’s GERB, with 83 MPs.