Bulgaria’s coalition of ultra-nationalist parties, the United Patriots, has hit its latest turbulence with Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov’s party withdrawing its confidence in Ataka party leader Volen Siderov as head of the coalition’s parliamentary group.
The step, taken on October 17, was a result of Siderov using his mouthpiece cable television channel Alfa to mount an attack on Simeonov as “Soros’s man” in the Bulgarian government.
The United Patriots group is the minority partner in Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government. The group has been wracked by public infighting throughout 2018, with attempts to patch up differences hardly lasting.
In a bizarre spectacle, Alfa stopped its regular broadcasts on October 15, blaming the government, though it was not clear why. Replacing its broadcasts with black slides with messages against Simeonov on the evening of October 16, Alfa was the subject of an inquiry from the broadcast regulator the Council for Electronic Media as to why it had stopped its broadcasts.
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