Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said in a January 4 2016 television interview that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu tried to pressure him to back Lyutvi Mestan, the ousted leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), but he declined to interfere in the affairs of other parties.
Mestan was dismissed as leader of the MRF, the party led and supported in the main by Bulgarians of Turkish ethnicity, on December 24 at a special central council meeting after MRF founder and honorary president Ahmed Dogan publicly criticised him over his parliamentary declaration on Turkey’s downing of a Russian bomber near Syrian airspace.
Dismissed from all party posts and from the MRF parliamentary group and the party itself, Mestan temporarily has been replaced by a triumvirate that has been handed stewardship of the MRF leadership pending a party congress expected in March 2016.
Mestan was the business of the MRF, Borissov said in an interview with local television station bTV.
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(Archive photo: Borissov and Mestan drinking coffee in March 2014, in the final months of the ruling axis of which the MRF was a vital part, while Borissov was in opposition.)