Bulgarian Ataka leader Siderov: Simeonov’s resignation as deputy PM ‘belated’

The resignation of Valeri Simeonov as deputy prime minister was belated, Ataka leader Volen Siderov said on November 17.

Siderov, a co-leader of the United Patriots and head of its parliamentary group, said that the stability of the coalition depended on the policies that would be implemented in the future.

He said that the resignation of Simeonov, one of the three co-leaders of the United Patriots – the grouping of ultra-nationalist and far-right parties that is the minority partner in Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government – had not been agreed with him.

Simeonov resigned on November 16, a month to the day after causing national controversy by describing protesting mothers with children with disabilities “shrill women” with “supposedly ill children”. Under pressure from coalition partners, Simeonov apologised on October 24. Protests by the mothers demanding his resignation have been continuing.

Earlier, another of the co-leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Krassimir Karakachanov, said that Simeonov had informed him of his decision to resign at about 2pm on November 16, and together they had gone to see Borissov.

Asked whether Simeonov had told Siderov in advance, Karakachanov said that it had been up to Simeonov to decide whom to call.

While Karakachanov had said that it would be up to Simeonov to nominate a candidate to succeed him as deputy prime minister, Siderov said that it was not obligatory for the United Patriots to name a successor at all.

Current plans are for Simeonov to return to the National Assembly as an MP. Miglena Alexandrova of Ataka will vacate her seat to make room for Simeonov, the leader of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria.

This will mean that the United Patriots parliamentary group will have 11 MPs from Karakachanov’s VMRO party, nine from Simeonov’s NFSB and seven from Siderov’s Ataka.

Siderov said that a change of leadership of the United Patriots parliamentary group had not been discussed. Siderov earlier was the target of a call from Simeonov’s MPs for him to step down from that role, amid months of tensions between Siderov and Simeonov.



The Sofia Globe staff

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