Bulgaria's Shaky Govt Firm Not to Resign, Defies Riots

Domestic | July 24, 2013, Wednesday // 18:36|  views

Sofia’s most popular landmark Alexander Nevsky cathedral, located close to the parliamentary building, is pictured with a blockade of pavement slabs in the forefront. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria’s embattled Socialist-backed government has defied calls to resign even after mass protests against it turned violent.

“Neither I nor my colleagues will submit resignations under pressure,” Yordan Tsonev, a key lawmaker from the ruling predominantly ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, told Dnevnik daily.

He confirmed it was his idea to convene three parliamentary commissions yesterday afternoon for the debates of the revised budget bill.

More than 100 Bulgarian lawmakers, ministers and journalists were escorted out of parliament early on Wednesday after being trapped inside for about eight hours by anti-corruption protesters outside.

“It is my job to make laws and it is the job of the Interior Ministry to ensure citizens’ safety,” Tsonev added.

He fumed that the parliament’s blockade prevents MPs from going to work and after that return their families and their children.

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Although the appointment was revoked, the people went on to demand that the cabinet of PM Plamen Oresharski resign collectively over its ties with oligarchs.

Tensions escalated on Tuesday evening when protesters blocked the doors of Bulgaria's parliament, trapping inside more than 100 politicians, journalists and staff.

Demonstrators clashed with riot police in Sofia, the capital, on the 40th day of anti-government rallies.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Plamen Oresharski, parliament, protests, police, resignation, oligarchy, violence, sofia, rightist


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