July 2020: In Bulgaria, the Armies of the Night 2.0

Should you have found yourself in the centre of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia on the night of July 10, you would have noticed a considerable throng.

A throng outside the office of the President, outside Parliament, on main thoroughfares, and should you have been watching, the subject of somewhat excitable coverage on live television.

What was it all about? It was about everything. It was about every frustration in the life of every Bulgarian. It was about rival political camps. It was about the rule of law, or lack of it. It was about allegations that some were there just because they were paid to be, or about their resentment and frustration, about a desire for change, whatever form that may mean. It was about mutual slurs about who is in league with organised crime. It was about the principles of promises – promises made, promises broken, promise betrayed.

It was about, or for, or against, President Roumen Radev, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev, about those other figures – Ahmed Dogan, Delyan Peevski.

It was the latest (perhaps not the last) culmination of frustration about political games, political theatre, the endless succession of cheap pantomime of one scandal that follows another on the tottering stage of Bulgarian public life.

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Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via amazon.com, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.