EPP Throws Weight Behind Bulgarian PM in Dogan Assault Case

Bulgaria in EU | January 23, 2013, Wednesday // 18:14|  views

Bulgarian PM Borisov and EPP Chair Daul during a meeting in Brussels. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European People's Party has voiced support for Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose ruling party GERB is an EPP member, over the European liberals' criticism of Borisov's reaction to Saturday's assault against Bulgarian ethnic Turkish leader Ahmed Dogan.

Ahmed Dogan, founder and leader of the DPS party ("Movement for Rights and Freedoms"), was the target of an attack right on the floor of a party conference on Saturday by 25-year-old Oktay Enimehmedov, also a Bulgarian citizen from ethnic Turkish origin. However, the gas pistol that Enimehmedov pointed at Dogan's head misfired.

The EPP Group in the European Parliament has strongly condemned the attempted attack against the leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms Party, Ahmed Dogan, the party said in a press statement Wednesday. At the same time, the Group supports the government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, it said.

"We are confident that the security agencies and law enforcement entities in Bulgaria will do everything necessary to investigate this awful incident. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and as such, its security services have repeatedly proven justified and deserved confidence with its European and trans-Atlantic partners. As expressed yesterday, the European Commission also trusts that the Bulgarian authorities will take appropriate actions against those who provoked the incident", said the Chairman of the EPP Group, Joseph Daul.

"We call for this criminal act not to be used for election purposes. We believe that democracy in Bulgaria is at a European level. The government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) Party have always stood behind the most sacred choice of each person - the choice of religion. Regardless of differences with other political parties, the GERB Party has never dared to use religion and ethnic peace in order to achieve political goals. Proof of this stands in the election lists of the GERB Party with elected Mayors, Councillors, Ministers and Party coordinators", commented Joseph Daul.

If the Bulgarian opposition parties bring the debate regarding the incident to the European Parliament, the EPP Group will firmly defend the Bulgarian Government, the party statement said.

"We would like to remind the European Liberals that attacks against politicians are unfortunately not isolated cases, neither in Europe, nor worldwide. Therefore, such criminal cases should not be used for domestic political party disputes and brought to European level. The EPP Group will closely monitor the investigation and will prevent Bulgaria from being discredited for election purposes by the opposition parties in front of its European and trans-Atlantic partners," Daul stated.

"The EPP Group would like to remind both the Bulgarian and European opposition Parties of the successful operations undertaken by the Bulgarian security agencies. They have and continue to successfully fight against drug trafficking, kidnapping, highway robbery of foreign nationals and human trafficking", concluded the Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, Joseph Daul.

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Tags: DPS, Lyutvi Mestan, Ahmed Dogan, expert reports, Oktay Enimehmedov, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, ethnic Turkish party, Ahmed Dogan, gas pistol, assassination attempt, permanent detention, European Liberal Democrat and reform party, EPP, European People's Party, Joseph Daul


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