‘Fascism is not patriotism’ march to be held in Bulgaria’s capital

An event entitled “EU and democracy march: Fascism is not patriotism” is scheduled for Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia on June 15 at 6.30pm.

Organised on Facebook, the event is, in effect, a response to recent conduct and statements by President Roumen Radev and the pro-Kremlin party Vuzrazhdane, the third-largest group in the current National Assembly.

Recent incidents have included Vuzrazhdane, which has 37 seats in Bulgaria’s 240-seat National Assembly, physically obstructing statements to the House by MPs from the pro-Western, pro-EU and pro-Nato reformist coalition We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, resulting in parliamentary proceedings being adjourned.

Vuzrazhdane also has held marches demanding the resignation of the government elected by Parliament on June 6, campaigns against Bulgarian membership of Nato, the EU and the euro zone, and individuals wearing Vuzrazhdane t-shirts were involved in a homophobic incident on June 10 at the Sofia Pride Film Fest.

Vuzrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov was photographed attending a reception this week at the Russian embassy hosted by ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova.

Radev, who as head of state appointed the caretaker governments that had stewardship of Bulgaria for nine months until Parliament elected a government, has opposed Bulgaria providing military equipment and weaponry to Ukraine for that country to defend itself against Russia’s illegal invasion, a stance that has led critics to denounce him. Radev has said repeatedly that he favours “peace”.

Radev publicly opposed the forming of a government with a mandate held by WCC-DB. When the new government was sworn in, Radev walked out before the oath-taking and the playing of the Bulgarian and EU anthems.

Organisers of the June 15 event said: “Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic. Bulgaria is the EU. Bulgaria is Nato. Bulgaria is a democratic republic.”

They said that every MP, regardless of party, must have the opportunity to speak and represent the people who elected them.

“In the parliamentary republic, MPs speak on behalf of the citizens who voted for them. It is impossible for an MP to decide who has the right to speak and who does not.”

The organisers said: “Let’s show Roumen Radev what the people, on whose behalf he likes to speak, think”.

The post said: “No to false patriotism, to threats and self-destruction, to hate speech, to the division of the nation, to lies and disinformation”.

Scheduled to last for three hours and 30 minutes, the route of the procession is from the starting point outside the Presidency building, on to the headquarters of Vuzrazhdane, and culminating at the National Assembly building.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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