Snap Elections in Fall Will Leave Problems Unsolved – Bulgarian Ethnic Turkish Leader

Domestic | June 27, 2013, Thursday // 12:23|  views

Lyutvi Mestan, Chair of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party, photo by BGNES

Lyutvi Mestan, Chair of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party, has suggested that heading for snap elections as early as the fall of 2013 will leave the existing problems unsolved as the current Election Code only guarantees formal legitimacy and needs to be replaced.

Speaking Thursday in Parliament, Mestan argued that true legitimacy would only be achieved by adopting a new Election Code so as to enable new political projects and parties, as well as majority MP candidates, to enter Parliament, in line with the demands of protesters.

Thursday will be the 14th day of protests against Bulgaria's socialist-led government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski.

Although the demonstrations started against the appointment of notorious media tycoon Delyan Peevski as Chair of the State Agency for National Seurity (DANS), the cancellation of the appointment did not alleviate public discontent, and the protesters went on to demand the resignation of the cabinet and a new Election Code which would guarantee a greater representation of the people.

In his Thursday statement, Mestan condemned allegations that Bulgaria could hold as many elections as necessary, adding that this scenario meant that the country would not have a stable Parliament or government.

He explained that DPS would strive to alleviate the regime for independent MP candidates running in elections, adding that they would also propose state subsidies for independent MPs, not only for political parties.

"We are ready for a decision which will place political parties and independent MP candidates on an equal footing," Mestan stated, as cited by the BGNES news agency.

"We are also discussing ideas for reducing the state subsidy. If somebody wants it to be eliminated altogether, let them explain how corporate dependence will be avoided," he emphasized.

The DPS Chair refuted allegations that the party had spent too much on the election campaign, adding that DPS was a trustworthy party and had diligently reported all expenses.

Mestan claimed that anybody who believed that DPS had spent 3 to 5 times the sum of center-right party GERB was pretty na?ve.

Mestan opposed the proposal for lowering the 4% threshold required to enter Parliament, stressing that Bulgaria had to stick to EU practices.

Regarding the appointment of Musa Palev from DPS as District Governor of Blagoevgrad, which triggered vocal protests in the city, Mestan commented that calls for the removal of Palev based on his ethnicity would result in spoiling the country's reputation for ethnic tolerance.

At the beginning of his statement, the leader of DPS voiced concern that the ongoing anti-government protests were marred by one-off acts of ethnic and religious intolerance and called on all political parties, state institutions, and the President to act wise and distance themselves from such acts and posters.

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Tags: Lyutvi Mestan, ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, snap elections, protests, Plamen Oresharski, Bulgarian government, Musa Palev, GERB, Election Code


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