WCC-DB’s Petkov: Dirty tricks campaign against getting a government elected in Bulgaria

We Continue the Change co-leader Kiril Petkov alleged on May 25 that there was an “active campaign” – including illicit eavesdropping with a plan to make public manipulated recordings – against the WCC-Democratic Bulgaria coalition and the possibility of getting a government elected.

WCC-DB, as the second-largest group in the 49th National Assembly, is to be the recipient of the second mandate to seek to form a government, which it plans to do on the basis of a deal with Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF coalition.

As of the evening of May 25, there is still no announcement on the official website of President Roumen Radev as to when the head of state intends offering this second mandate.

Petkov told a special briefing on Thursday evening that politicians from the WCC-DB coalition had been recorded illicitly during working meetings in the Parliament building, in their offices, and during executive council and national council meetings.

“Recording devices were used in our headquarters and in the buildings of the National Assembly…these actions are the work of the (intelligence and security) services and the deep state with the aim of destabilisation and the failure of negotiations to form a government,” Petkov said.

He said that these services knew that if a government is formed, “we will change their leadership, but we will also make deep reforms aimed at eradicating the captured people, employees and departments”.

“The Prosecutor’s Office also knows that if the current legislative amendments are approved, the Prosecutor’s Office can be purged from the deep backstage. In reality, the services and the Prosecutor’s Office know that the time has come to divide. Either we will succeed in replacing them, or they will break us and Bulgaria remains a captured country.”

Petkov described WCC-MP Radostin Vassilev, who is expected to announce on May 26 that he is leaving the parliamentary group in protest against the deal with GERB-UDF, as “an emotionally unstable politician” who was being “used as a tool”.

Radostin Vassilev previously was an MP for Slavi Trifonov’s populist party ITN, before leaving and being elected to the latest Parliament on the WCC-DB ticket.

Petkov alleged that extracts of illicit recordings of meetings would be released after having been manipulated to alter the meaning, “deliberately put together to create innuendo and manipulation”.

“We will not give in to blackmail and manipulation. Radostin Vassilev is just one tool of the captured state and the captured services. But the time has come for a change. We will not surrender, we are not afraid, and until Bulgaria becomes a normal European country, we will continue to fight,” Petkov said.

He said that the manipulated recordings contained comments about European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and other European politicians, with the aim of stoking a diplomatic scandal.

Petkov alleged that Vassilev had more than 10 hours of recordings, which had been edited into four minutes of manipulated content.

The WCC co-leader hinted that Radev was behind the “active campaign”, saying that WCC-DB candidate Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and GERB’s Maria Gabriel had announced that there was an understanding regarding the second mandate, but nevertheless Radev was delaying handing it over.

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