People from various places in Bulgaria joined what organisers billed as the “Grand National Uprising 2” protest in Sofia on September 10, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government and Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev.
The 64th day of anti-government demonstrations in Bulgaria’s capital city sees various protests by different organisers.
Apart from the “Grand National Uprising 2”, organised by the “Poison Trio”, the day is also set to see a protest by Democratic Bulgaria against the Electoral Code amendments proposed by Borissov’s GERB party, and one by the Boets civil movement entitled “Europeans seeking Europe”.
The Interior Ministry said that it was taking enhanced security measures in a move it said was designed to prevent a repeat of the serious clashes in central Sofia’s streets on September 2, on the night of the first “Grand National Uprising”.
Organisers of the protests issued several calls to participants not to respond to provocateurs that they would said would be planted in the crowds.
The Sofia directorate of the Interior Ministry set up significantly more checkpoints than previously, to check “suspicious persons” and those with bulky baggage.
On the morning of September 10, the ministry said that it had searched the area where the protests were planned to be held, and had found, in various places, items that had been put there in advance, including metal pipes, bags of stones and glass bottles, wooden rods, two knives, a slingshot and a five-litre tube of unidentified liquid with a pungent odour.
The “Grand National Uprising 2” protest was scheduled to start at 8am. Bulgarian National Radio said that by mid-morning, there was not a large number of protesters in the centre of Sofia.
BNR said that there was a large police presence in the square in front of the Presidency building, while police had fenced off the National Assembly building, while gendarmerie were deployed near the Bulgarian National Bank building.
Bulgarian National Television said that there were ambulances at the scene, on duty to provide emergency medical treatment in the event of clashes.
Earlier this week, Borissov said that it was “the mafia” that wanted his government to resign, and he was declining to do so.
If the schedule is kept to, Bulgaria will hold parliamentary elections in spring 2021.
(Archive photo of an earlier protest: The Facebook page of the ‘Poison Trio’)
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