Bulgaria Nationalists VMRO Elect New LeaderDomestic | October 17, 2009, Saturday // 13:07| views
The leader of VMRO, Krasimir Karakachanov, faces reelection this weekend and the Mayor of Plovdiv, Slavcho Atanasov, is his main rival. Photo by BGNES
The Bulgarian nationalist VMRO party is holding its Congress Saturday and Sunday.
The Congress is to elect the new party Chair and to align the future program of VMRO along with changes in the party code. About 700 delegates are expected to attend.
In the keynote address, the current party Chair, Krasimir Karakachanov, said in the 116 years of its history VMRO has seen many ups and downs, but always found the strength to survive and continue its fight for the protection of everything Bulgarian and the unification of the Bulgarian nation.
According to Karakachanov, the Congress has extreme importance because the party must decide now how to continue its policy.
The party has 5 859 officially registered members in 344 local branches, but Karakachanov said the real numbers are anywhere between 9 500 and 10 000 members.
In his report, Karakachanov accounted for the mistakes committed during the summer elections for Members of the European Parliament and the general parliamentary elections, namely entering in coalition with the LIDER party of energy tycoon, Hristo Kovachki, and forming the political movement “Napred” (Forward).
“We underestimated LIDER’s ambitions to be the main coalition party and the Agrarian Union’s local potential,” Karakachanov pointed out.
Other mistakes include the strained relations between VMRO and the now ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party with the most drastic situation happening in Bulgaria’s second largest city of Plovdiv where the coalition between VMRO and GERB had been shifted to a coalition with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the far-right nationalist Ataka party.
The Plovdiv Mayor, Slavcho Atanasov, is Karakachanov’s main rival for the party chair post.
Karakachanov said that his priority right now is not be reelected but for VMRO to become a stronger and united party after the weekend Congress.
The party's name derives from the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, a 19th century rebel movement. The original organization was suppressed in the 1930s, at which time the territory of the current Republic of Macedonia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
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