US embassy in statement on peaceful protests in Bulgaria

In a statement on July 13, the United States embassy in Sofia said that it supports the Bulgarian people “as you peacefully advocate for increased faith in your democratic system and promote the rule of law in Bulgaria”.

Demonstrations and protests are a sign of a thriving, vibrant civil society, the US embassy said, as protests attended by several thousand Bulgarians in Sofia and other cities entered their fifth night, demanding the resignation of the government, of the Prosecutor-General and a society based on the rule of law.

“Every nation deserves a judicial system that is non-partisan and accountable to the rule of law. We support the Bulgarian people as you peacefully advocate for increased faith in your democratic system and promote the rule of law in Bulgaria. No one is above the law,” the embassy said.

The latest round of protests began outside the Presidency building in Sofia and proceeded to the Cabinet building. By 11pm, the area in front of the Cabinet building remained closed to traffic because of the large crowds.

There were shouts of “resign” and “mafia”, Bulgarian National Television reported.

There were insults directed towards Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev, while the space outside the buildings of state and government were filled with the sounds of drums and vuvuzelas, according to a report by Bulgarian National Radio.

Participants in the protests include many young people, as well opposition and extra-parliamentary parties from the left and right, as well as representatives of the “The System is Killing Us” initiative, BNR said.

The protests arose amid wrangling between different political forces, government figures and overall disgruntlement with the running of the country. Borissov has said that his government, currently scheduled to face regular elections in spring 2021, will not resign.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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