Reelected Bulgarian Nationalist Leader: VMRO Won't Break up

Domestic | October 18, 2009, Sunday // 16:54|  views

Krasimir Karakachanov (left) after his reelection as VMRO leader which was preceded by a scandal. Photo by BGNES

Krasimir Karakachanov, the leader of the nationalist VMRO party, who was reelected after a scandal during Sunday’s Congress, said the party would not break up.

“When there are two candidates for the leader’s position, and one of them sees they are going to lose, they should either withdraw, or run and then admit their loss. My colleague preferred not to stay here for the elections in order to cover his expected loss,” Karakachanov said regarding Plovdiv Mayor Slavcho Atanasov, who was his only competitor.

Shortly before the vote on Sunday, Atanasov left the Congress together with 300 delegates out of a total of 700 in protest against alleged manipulations including fake delegates. The remaining delegates reelected Karakachanov.

He claims that Saturday night his staff and the staff of Atanasov met and agreed to propose to the Congress that the VMRO should have two Co-Chairs. Half an hour later, however, Atanasov’s staff gave up that agreement.

Karakachanov said he would work with any of the “confused” delegates who were tricked into leaving the Congress, should they decide to come back. He vowed that this would be his last term as VMRO Chair, and that he would open up the party leadership for younger people.

“I have been repeating for months that if lose, I am not going to appeal, and will work wherever the party places me. Slavcho Atanasov has been doing the same. Now he has to decide whether to keep his word,” Karakachanov said.

Meanwhile, Atanasov and his followers vowed to appeal the legitimacy of the VMRO Congress before the court, and to hold a new one.

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Tags: VMRO, Krasimir Karakachanov, nationalist, Slavcho Atanasov, Plovdiv Mayor, Party Congress, appeal, delegates


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