Movement for Rights and Freedoms elects Peevski, Chakurov as co-leaders

At its 11th national congress, held on February 24, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) adopted the recommendation of its honorary president Ahmed Dogan and elected MPs Delyan Peevski and Dzhevdet Chakurov as co-leaders.

This is the first time that the MRF, founded by Dogan in January 1990 and currently the third-largest group in Bulgaria’s National Assembly, has had joint leadership.

The election followed the resignation in November 2023 of Mustafa Karadayi as party leader.

Peevski, for months the head of the MRF parliamentary group, is the first person who is not a Bulgarian of Turkish ethnicity to be elected to the party leadership.

Peevski, in his seventh term as an MP, has been subject to US sanctions under the Magnitsky Act since June 2021 and to UK sanctions since February 2023, both on the grounds of alleged corruption.

His short-lived election as head of the State Agency for National Security in 2013 triggered months of anti-government protests that culminated in 2014 in the resignation of the “Oresharski” cabinet.

Chakurov has been a member of a succession of parliaments since July 2001, barring his time, from 2007 to 2009, as environment minister in the Sergey Stanishev tripartite coalition government.

Dogan, addressing the conference via video, spoke against the notion of holding early parliamentary elections “two in one” with Bulgaria’s European Parliament elections in June 2024, saying that to do so would destabilise the country.

The Sofia Globe staff

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