Bulgaria Faces New Mass Rally, Leaders Meet in Gabrovo

Society | March 9, 2013, Saturday // 11:32|  views

Huge crowds of Bulgarians took to the streets across the country last Sunday, protesting against the mafia model of ruling the country and wide-spread poverty. Photo by BGNES

Representatives of protesting Bulgarians are meeting Saturday in the central city of Gabrovo to plan and align their future actions.

About 100 people will participate in the meeting, which is to be held behind closed doors, including for the media.

One of the leaders of the demonstrators, Angel Slavchev, announced Bulgarians will be staging a new nationwide protest rally on Sunday, March 10.

In Sofia, the gathering point is the Ministry of Economy and Energy.

Slavchev explains the new protest with only one demand of the demonstrators being met – making public the contracts with the power distributors.

Hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians have been protesting for nearly a month against the political model of ruling the country. The demonstrations started as protests against the unbearable utility bills, the monopolies and the wide-spread poverty, and later turned into a civil unrest and political demands.

There are strong disagreements among different groups of disgruntled people, but some of the demands that have emerged so far are: not adjourning the Parliament; the President appointing a program government instead of a caretaker one; drafting a Civil Participation Bill providing a 50% civil quota in all institutions; returning 51% of the shares of power utilities to the State; closing the Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH, for draining the energy sector, summoning a Grand General Assembly, establishing a procedure to recall Members of the Parliament.

These demands, on their part, have stirred fears of an attempt to return to Communism as there have been calls for nationalization and full abolishment of the political system and of all parties.

On February 21, Bulgaria's Parliament approved the resignation of the government of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, amidst the unprecedented since 1997 protest rallies.

Snap general election is to be held May 12, just two months ahead of the regular date in July.

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