Ex-Leader of Bulgaria's DPS Reveals Details on New Political Party

Domestic | February 9, 2016, Tuesday // 10:22|  views

DPS's former chair Lyutvi Mestan just after his first press conference that followed his expulsion from the party, January 07, 2016. Photo: BGNES

Lyutvi Mestan, the former leader of DPS party who was expelled last year, vowed that his new political project will adhere to "liberal and Euro-Atlantic" values.

In an interview with private national NOVA TV broadcaster on Tuesday, he said that the crisis in the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party was the outcome of its ever more outspoken "pro-Russian" orientation.

"The speech of [the DPS's honorary chairman Ahmed Dogan] put down the masks. Yon cannot declare that you [are in favour of] NATO but make emphasis on Russia's power," Mestan opined.

On Christmas Eve, the former head of predominantly ethnic Turk DPS was dismissed as leader and removed from the party, days after Dogan had accused him in a speech of betraying Bulgaria's national interest by siding with Turkey in its recent spat with Russia that followed the downing of a Su-24 fighter-bomber.

Mestan then declared he would pursue his own political project, fueling much speculation about the party's "pro-Turkish" or "pro-Islamic" roots, suggestions Mestan has repeatedly denied.

On Tuesday he revealed his party will be named Democrats for Responsibility, Solidarity and Tolerance (abbreviated DOST in Bulgarian).

Several DPS lawmakers quit the party to become part of his project.

Mestan added it had been Dogan's speech that inspired him to found the party. In the speech in question, which was not aired by sent out to media outlets, Dogan is quoted as questioning the way the EU is prioritizing its values. The expelled lawmaker quoted the section reading that "if someone from the EU really spaks of a priority of freedom, tolerance, responsibility and even security and stability - then they don't know what reality is like."

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Tags: Lyutvi Mestan, DPS, Ahmed Dogan, Dogan, DOST, Democrats for Responsibility, Solidarity and Tolerance


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