Ex-Leader of Bulgaria's DPS to Talk to Media on Thursday

Domestic | January 5, 2016, Tuesday // 14:04|  views

DPS's former chair Lyutvi Mestan. File photo, BGNES

Lyutvi Mestan, who was dismissed as leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party on Christmas Eve, is to speak to reporters on Thursday, together with five DPS lawmakers who pledged support for him in his conflict with the rest of the party.

The news was announced in a press statement of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) after earlier reports suggested the press conference would take place Wednesday.

Mestan was removed as DPS chair and expelled from the party after its honorary chair Ahmed Dogan criticized him for siding with Ankara in its dispute with Moscow over the downing of a Su-24 fighter-bomber by Turkish Air Forces in November.

Dogan also accused him of betraying Bulgaria's national interest, and media reports emerged soon that he had sought refuge in the Turkish Embassy soon after Dogan delivered his critical speech.

In the course of a week, five of the 37 (without Mestan) MPs of the DPS pledged their loyalty to Mestan. These are Hyusein Hafazov, Mariyana Georgieva (a former Sports Minister), Ventsislav Kaymakanov, Shabanali Ahmed, and Aydoan Ali.

One of them (name not mentioned) is quoted by the website Dnevnik.bg as saying both they and the "electorate" believe the former leader was expelled in violation of the internal party rules. Earlier, Mestan himself announced he deemed the move illegitimate, given that a congress of the party had already been scheduled for January.

Mestan, however, has not made clear yet whether or not he will set up his own political party. When asked by reporters he had said his political fate depended on his "dialogue with voters".

Separately, the website 24rodopi, which was the first media outlet to reveal details about Dogan's speech (delivered on a New Year event for DPS members), reports that MP Shabanali Ahmed is set to meet Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in the end of the week, without disclosing further details about their talks.  

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Tags: Lyutvi Mestan, Ahmed Dogan, DPS, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, turkey, Russia, Ahmet Davutoglu


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