Siderov says his ouster means ‘torpedoing’ of Bulgaria’s governing coalition

Ataka leader Volen Siderov, ousted as leader of the parliamentary group of the United Patriots, accused the leaders of the other two parties in the ultra-nationalist coalition of “torpedoing” Bulgaria’s governing coalition.

Siderov was voted out as leader of the parliamentary group of the United Patriots, the grouping of three ultra-nationalist parties that is the minority partner in Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s third government, at a July 9 meeting at which his Ataka party was not represented.

Those behind the move said that they had taken the action against Siderov because he had not called a meeting of the parliamentary group for months. The move also came against a background of a lengthy period of tensions and infighting among the United Patriots parties, as another result of which they stood separately in the European Parliament elections.

On July 10, a day after the vote to oust him, Siderov told Bulgarian National Radio that the vote in effect annulled the coalition government agreement between Borissov’s GERB party and the United Patriots group.

He said that the move against him had been in preparation for months.

He rejected the allegations against him by members of Krassimir Karakachanov’s VMRO and Valeri Simeonov’s National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, which had led to the July 9 meeting at which he was voted out by 20 votes in favour, with Ataka’s seven MPs absent.

“I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping this group together, and I personally made the most compromises for this group to exist, and you can always find a pretext when you want to do something destructive,” Siderov said.

While saying that the governing coalition agreement had been annulled, Siderov also said that he wanted the government to complete its term in office, which is due to expire in 2021.

Siderov said that he would seek the opinion of GERB and its leader Borissov.

He said that he would ask the Prime Minister whether he was withdrawing his signature under the coalition agreement.

“Here are our three signatures,” Siderov said, referring to those of the three co-leaders of the United Patriots. “He (Borissov) has to answer the question whether he is withdrawing from the signature of Ataka. It is not a question to be put to me. I am explaining the actions of other people. I have done nothing, ask them if this is the end,” he said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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