24th Anti-Govt Rally in Sofia attended by over 30 000

Domestic | July 8, 2013, Monday // 11:33|  views

Photo by BGNES

For the 24th consecutive day, thousands of Bulgarians assembled outside the Council of Ministers building in Sofia on Sunday evening to protest against the Socialist-led government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski.

The protest rally that started outside the Council of Ministers proceeded along a different itinerary, with the demonstrators taking to the "Tsarigradsko Shose" Blvd, instead of heading along the Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi Blvd. The organizers of the protest  explained the change with their intention to count the people attending the event.

Demonstrators chanted "Red Thrash", "Resignation" and "Mafia," booed, beat drums, tambourines and tambours.

Sofia police claimed that the protest had been attended by only 3000 people, while demonstrators claimed that they had been over 30 000.

Slogans such as "Parliament under Permanent Siege" and "Let us see how many of us are on Tsarigradsko Blvd" could be seen among the sea of Bulgarian flags.

The youths, who became an attraction in the last several days because of the prisoners' costumes they wore, carried four colorful brooms to sweep away the four parliamentary groups of the Bulgarian Socialist party, BSP, the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, party, the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and nationalist party Ataka.

One of the new banners, carried on Sunday's protest rally, depicted Sergei Stanishev, leader of BSP and the Party of the European Socialists, PES, and read "PES- we don't need your toy."

In front of the President's Office, a group of around 30 people tried to provoke the demonstrators by raising banners calling for the resignation of President Rosen Plevneliev over his July 5 address to the nation in which he said that elections were the only way out of the political crisis.

Some of the banners said: "Plevneliev - you are a mere spokesman of GERB," "You are double-faced, but neither of your faces is that of a head of state," "Plevneliev takes care of his business, but not of the country."

There was a brief confrontation between the two groups of protesters, but the police prevented the eruption of any scandals by separating them, private TV channel bTV reported.

Police officers also checked the identity documents of some of the demonstrators.

By 7:45 the protestors returned to their usual route toward the Parliament building and Orlov Bridge, with demonstrators at the head of the rally carrying a big green banner saying "Bulgaria said : Oresharski go away."

The series of anti-government protests in Bulgaria was triggered by the scandalous appointment of controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski as Chair of the State Agency for National Security (DANS).

Although the appointment was revoked, the people went on to demand that the cabinet resign collectively over ties with oligarchs.

Protesters are also calling for Election Code amendments which will guarantee greater representation of the people in Parliament.

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Tags: protest, anti-government, GERB, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Sergei Stanishev, ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, nationalist party Ataka, Plamen Oresharski, State Agency for National Security, DANS


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