Bulgaria Back Seat Ruler

Editorial |Author: Milena Hristova | June 12, 2009, Friday // 10:04|  views

They were called the European elections, but that is something of a misnomer. When Bulgarians went to the polls on June 7, their task was to elect new members to the European Parliament, which they did. Those who actually turned out, however, mostly took the opportunity to cast a protest vote. Except for the supporters of the ethnic Turkish party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

These are the kind of voters, who never show cracks in their armour, led by a leader blessed with the gift of a gab and the in-depth view of an analyst. Ahmed Dogan knows how to hide behind the false image of a reflecting philosopher, while actually being the back seat ruler of the country.

It is with this warning in mind that we should interpret his election night prediction about the next cabinet being born in heavy labour and not lasting more than a year. Being the man, who pulls the strings of the puppets on Bulgaria's political scene, Ahmed Dogan does not make predictions, he orchestrates the events ahead.

"The next government will not be clearly defined, with no clear program of one political power. Most probably this will be an anti-crisis government, with a short lifetime - one year, for example," Dogan said hours after the polls for the European Parliamentary elections closed.

Ahmed Dogan, the leader of the party, on whose mandate the Socialist-led government was formed and the driving force behind a number of reshuffles, has obviously been working busily behind the scenes.

This time, again, he has hatched a great plot - let a center-right government come to power and inherit the deplorable state that the current three-way coalition turned Bulgaria into, exacerbated by the repercussions of the global financial crisis. With so many wrongs, it will be impossible for Bulgarians to shore up their faith in the new government and within one year they will be more than willing to part with what they think no longer serves them. The three parties from the current ruling coalition will then be more than happy to be back on the political scene, victorious, puce-cheeked and finger-wagging at the voters.

Bulgaria may be a parliamentary republic, but the real power since the previous elections has lied not with the National Assembly, but with the "Great Troika", made up of the leaders of the three-party ruling coalition. Unfortunately none of them is linked to the parliamentary rostrum. Socialist party leader Sergey Stanishev is head of the executive power. Former king Simeon Saxe-Coburg is not member of parliament. Turkish leader Ahmed Dogan is member of parliament, but he never has the time for the parliamentary sessions and tops the list of playing-truant MPs.

The odds are that this will continue to be the case in the next few years, despite a short stint in office of a center-right government.


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Tags: elections 2009, Bulgaria Votes 2009


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