Ex-DPS Head Rules Out Cooperation with Maverick DSB Chair

Domestic | January 15, 2016, Friday // 19:20|  views

Radan Kanev (R) and Lyutvi Mestan (C) were previously bitter political opponents. File photo, BGNES

Lyutvi Mestan, who was ousted from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) pasty after heading it for three years, has said he will not take part in a "right-wing political project" of Radan Kanev, the chairman of Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party.

Kanev and DSB moved into opposition last year after having been allies to the government since November of 2014. DSB, however, remained part of the Reformist Bloc, the loose coalition of parties that is the junior coalition partner of Boyko Borisov's cabinet.

Kanev and Mestan met on Friday behind closed doors, in a room  with the latter telling reporters afterwards they had discussed "the political winter".

"It is perfectly normal for us with Mr Kanev to talk not only in the summer, but also in the winter... We talked about the political winter. The winds blowing in this winter and changing certain political realities. Nothing more," the Bulgarian National Television showed him saying.

Mestan, who has declared himself "liberal", made clear he could not take part in Kanev's project which is staunchly right-wing and stressed Bulgaria's political life needs "a liberal movement for the Euro-Atlantic development of the country."

However, he added his movement would be open to dialogue with all parties on "nationally significant issues".

Mestan has not yet launched an official project after being removed as DPS leader and expelled from the party in December.

Earlier, he had been criticized by honorary chair Ahmed Dogan for siding with Turkey on the downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber by the Turkish Air Forces and bilateral tensions that subsequently emerged.

Kanev, for his part, withdrew his support from the government after Parliament rejected part of judicial reform proposals which his party had staunchly defended. Lawmakers' decision prompted Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov to step down.

While the two were still in their respective roles as head of the second-biggest opposition force and part of the government, Mestan and Kanev were known as bitter political enemies, with the latter often accusing the former and his DPS party of being masterminds of Bulgaria's "backroom games" hindering political and economic development.


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Tags: Lyutvi Mestan, Radan Kanev, DSB, DPS, Ahmed Dogan, Boyko Borisov, Hristo Ivanov, judicial reform, Ahmed Dogan


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