Bulgarians Hold Fresh Coffee-Drinking Rally near Parliament

Domestic | July 16, 2013, Tuesday // 10:30|  views

A fresh coffee-drinking anti-government rally is taking place Тuesday in front of the Parliament building in downtown Sofia. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarians are protesting once again Tuesday by staging the now-traditional coffee-drinking anti-government rally in front of the Parliament building in downtown Sofia.

The stands offering free coffee to demonstrators were opened at 7 am. The plastic cups are being signed and collected carefully before being sent for recycling not only to keep the area litter-free, but to be counted to estimate the number of participants.

Some of them will be used for yet another art installation to be mounted near the metal fences outside the Parliament's security zone.

The Tuesday one will represent a planet from the movie "Star Wars" with the wish to send Bulgarian politicians there.

Some of the demonstrators are paying for their coffee as the money will be donated for charities for sick children or the poor.

In addition to the Parliament, the morning protest has a brand new location Tuesday – the headquarters of the Sofia regional administration on the main "Vitosha" boulevard. It started at 8 am.

The rally there is against the appointment of Emil Ivanov for Regional Governor of Sofia.

He is from the liberal, predominantly ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, and a long-term Mayor of the town of Svoge. Ivanov was also Regional Governor of Sofia during the government of the Three-Way Coalition (2005 – 2009).

The demonstrators say he has a criminal record and a 2.5-year sentence for battery of a local man from Svoge.

Ivanov is also linked to one of the most notorious organized crime groups from the 90s – VIS.

By becoming Regional Governor, he will be replaced as MP by the next person on the ballot – Alexander Metodiev AKA Sali, from the Roma quarter of the town of Samokov. Metodiev is known as a Roma clan boss, involved in criminal activities such as providing illegal use of electric power in parts of the town, particularly the Roma district.

The morning protest is to merge with the traditional afternoon rally, the 32nd in a row, starting 6.30 pm in front of the Council of Ministers building.

The series of anti-government protests in Bulgaria was triggered by the scandalous appointment of 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 Socialist-endorsed cabinet of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, 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: DPS, Delyan Peevski, DANS, State Agency for National Security, Siderov, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Plamen Oresharski, Bulgarian government, protests, parliament, rally, anti-government, coffee-drinking, Emil Ivanov, sofia, Regional Governor


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