Bulgarian Socialists Lash at PM over Betting on Sports

Domestic | July 15, 2011, Friday // 15:56|  views

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, told the Parliament he is used to play sports and bet on his win, and the MPs cannot ban him from doing so. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

A scandal raged in the Bulgarian Parliament Friday between Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and the opposition Bulgarian Socialists, during the regularly scheduled parliamentary control session.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, launched an attack on Borisov for betting when he plays tennis. They also accused him of offering through a private company 12 000 kebapche (a traditional grilled oblong rissole) to those present at the official ceremony of the admission of the Ludogorets football team in football group A.

The accusations came from the BSP Member of the Parliament, Maya Manolova, who was the first one to take the stand, saying the above is a violation of the Election Code and the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, could win the upcoming presidential and local elections by distributing to voters free food, beverages, entertainment and even money.

"This gentleman was so sure he would beat me on tennis that he upped the initial bet of 100 kepabche to 12 000. He is now the laughing stock of everyone. I promise to never again win in sports games, but this is how we play tennis – we bet on ice cream, chicken, pork. You cannot ban me from doing it. But I vow, from now on, to only bet on one kebapche, and one chicken. Your leader, Sergey Stanishev dives and kills fish," Borisov replied.

To this Manolova countered that everyone is aware of the PM's talent in sports, but recommended to him to take his skills on the international field and rival with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi, Russian PM, Vladimir Putin and French President, Nikolas Sarkozy, not missing to remind that for his birthday GERB MPs gave Borisov money for the development of the Sofia Bankya suburb where he lives.

"This is their money – they will buy me a horse, a donkey, a mammoth if they wish to do so. You spent your money on billboards saying you want to fire me. We will spend ours on sick children, renovations, churches and mosques," the PM pointed out.

Manolova relentlessly accused GERB of ordering army units in the area of the second largest city of Plovdiv to erect 1 400 tents near a local dam where GERB MPs and activists are to gather during the weekend.

The Ministry of Defense explained that it was a traditional practice to help local authorities in the organization of different events, but Manolova continued to accuse GERB of using the army for servicing their party. She, however, was not given any further explanations.

Another BSP MP, Korneliya Ninova, accused the PM of not coming to the Parliament in the last 40 days in violation with the Parliamentary Code and lashed at the Speaker, Tsetska Tsacheva, for finding excuses for Borisov by telling the MPs he was abroad. She also blamed the latter of systematically insulting the MPs by saying he would miss the no-confidence vote because he did not need to see them.

"You want me to be here every day to listen to your very clever statements. They are detrimental to the institution," the PM countered.

The leader of the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, DSB, party, Ivan Kostov, asked Borisov why loads of money is being spent on providing security for people, who never received threats.

Borisov replied that since the beginning of the year there have been three dead threats against the leader of BSP Stanishev and the leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, Ahmed Dogan, has received as many as 11 death threats since 2006

Borisov, however, firmly denied that there has ever been security in front of the house of his now-ex, long-time live-in girlfriend, banker Tsvetelina Borislavova.

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Tags: Tsetska Tsacheva, no-confidence vote, elections, GERB, Ivan Kostov, DSB, Korneliya Ninova, Maya Manolova, BSP, MP, win, bet, Parliament sports, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev, Boyko Borisov, Ahmed Dogan, death threats, Ivan Kostov


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