Bulgaria’s anti-government protests ‘going to new phase’

The protests in Bulgaria demanding the resignation of the government and of the Prosecutor-General are set to enter a new phase, as a group of organisers seek to recruit people for a national strike, Bulgarian National Radio said on July 19.

This followed the 10th day of the anti-government protests, which have drawn many thousands of Bulgarians to the streets of capital city Sofia and other major cities and towns.

While until now protests generally have started in the early evening, plans are to gather outside the National Assembly building at 7am on July 20, the day that Parliament is due to hold a special sitting to hold a motion of no confidence in the government tabled by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party.

The group of organisers, known as the “Poison Trio” – Arman Babikyan, lawyer. Nikolay Hadjigenov and Professor Velislav Minekov – said on Facebook: “We are gathering again until we get rid of the ruling mafia”.

They said that they are starting to register citizens who agree to join strike action under the title “For the Protection of Democracy”, which has been the title of the protests organised by the three.

President Roumen Radev, elected on a ticket backed by the BSP and who recently has made repeated calls for Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government to resign, said on July 18 that it was “too late” for dialogue.

Radev was responding to a comment by National Assembly Speaker Tsveta Karayancheva, a senior member of Borissov’s government, who said that the government should not resign but what was needed now was more dialogue.

“They had to have a dialogue with the people when the time was right. They stood arrogantly on top, not responding to their needs, now it’s too late for dialogue. People don’t want that anymore,” Radev said.

Asked by BNR how long the protests would continue, Radev said: “Until those who should go, fall”.

(Archive photo: Kamelia Dimitrova)

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