Bulgarian voters from Turkey divert via Greece as ‘patriots’ again protest at Turkish border

Bulgarian passport-holders coming into the country to vote in the March 26 elections would now be coming via Greece instead of directly across the border because of planned blockades by Bulgarian nationalists, reports on March 24 said.

The nationalist United Patriots coalition again staged blockades of Bulgaria’s border crossings with Turkey on March 24, at the Lesovo, Kapitan Andreevo and Malkovo checkpoints.

The nationalists’ intention is to obstruct voters coming to support parties with strong ethnic Turkish electoral support bases – the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and Lyutvi Mestan’s DOST.

Valeri Simeonov, co-leader of the United Patriots, said in a live interview on March 24 with his mouthpiece Skat television channel that those protesting at the border were there to defend the national interest.

Six to seven thousand people had crossed the border to vote, he said, speaking at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint in front of an array of nationalist supporters with party flags.

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