Court to Sit on Bulgarian DOST Party's Denied RegistrationDomestic | July 25, 2016, Monday // 08:46| views
Lyutvi Mestan. File photo, BGNES
A high-instance court is to hold a sitting on Monday on the appeal submitted by DOST leader Lyutvi Mestan after his party's registration request was turned down.
The Sofia City Court ruled earlier in July that the application violates the "spirit" of the law, with the party's acronym meanind "friend" in Turkish and many of DOST's founders being of ethnic Turkish origin.
DOST stands for "Democrats for Unity, Liberty and Tolerance". It splintered off the second-largest opposition party, liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) which is also made up predominantly of ethnic Turks, after Mestan was dismissed as chairman and expelled from the party for allegedly siding with Turkey in its dispute with Moscow over a downed warplane last year.
Mestan and other members contest the ruling, arguing a number of Bulgarian paties either have foreign words as acronyms (nationalist Ataka or Basta) or use words that derived from other languages (Prime Minister Borisov?s GERB party, a word used for "state emblem" or "coat of arms" that derived from Erbe, or "heritage/legacy" in German).
They also claim other parties, such as the DPS, have a distinct "ethnic" profile.
Bulgaria's constitution bans the foundation of parties on an ethnic or religious basis.