Lawyer Nikolay Hadjigenov: Change Can Only be Made by Force. The Legal and Proper Way is a National Strike in Bulgaria

Opinions | July 17, 2020, Friday // 13:48|  views

Lawyer Nikolay Hadjigenov

Stefan MARKOV,

The famous lawyer Nikolay Hadjigenov has always defended his civil positions without taking into account the background noise. He did it emphatically, often with strong means of expression, so that not a drop of doubt remained in his conviction and his readiness to defend them at any cost. He is one of the so-called "poison trio" together with Velislav Minekov and Arman Babikyan.

It is the three who have been identified as the leaders of the protests in recent days against Borissov's cabinet, Chief Prosecutor Geshev, those standing above the law and pulling the strings - Dogan and Peevski. Lawyer Hadjigenov has inexhaustible energy, which can "infect" you easily.

His public speaking skills are also enviable, so it is no wonder that he is the one who most clearly "channels" the demands and goals of the protesters, which are increasing every day and number tens of thousands. That is why sought it in order to bring additional clarity about the turbulent events in the country, as well as about the plans and tactics that can be "taken out of the sleeve".

- Lawyer Hadjigenov, you recently clarified the specific goals of the protesters. The "resistance" demands not only the resignation of the cabinet and the chief prosecutor, electronic voting, but also the convening of a Grand National Assembly to forge a new Constitution. Explain why this is necessary?

- The new Constitution or a drastic change of the existing one is vital for us to achieve the change we need. Otherwise, we will continue to spin in a vicious circle. Specifically - Geshev's resignation is only the beginning, if we do not change the structure of the prosecution, its place and the unity of the chief prosecutor, for which we need a constitutional change. We also need a new Constitution to have a sure guarantee that the identity of the next Attorney General will not matter. Whoever is elected will abide by and obey the law. If not, he will be replaced immediately and investigated independently.

- It is obvious that the majority of the protesters are young and intelligent people who are tired of being silent witnesses of what is happening in the country. You have been calling for changes for a long time and you are adamant that such changes can only happen with mass protests. Now that this is happening, what should be the "tactics" to get real results?

- Not just mass protests. Change can only be made by force. The legal and proper way to exercise coercion that does not bring with it "abusers" is the national strike. Something that has never been done in our country! I hope that next week we will be ready with the organization and close the whole country. After achieving the resignations of the government and Geshev - we should immediately ensure the most transparent and public elections by remote voting electronically and by mail. The latter has been practiced for decades around the world and is a great opportunity, not only for fair elections, but will especially give security to older voters. Electronic voting will enable Bulgarians abroad to exercise their right to vote.

- Apart from social networks, where you can hardly be muted, Sasho Dikov at Eurocom is the only journalist who permanently gives you a platform. Is this one of the reasons why people "sleep" and suffer for a whole decade - because the media are knocked down and are an oasis behind the scenes?

- Of course. It is not in vain that we are in 111th place in terms of freedom of speech. They took over the judiciary on Dogan's prescription, bought the media and turned them into a source of base propaganda.

- How will you and the protesters proceed if Borisov and Geshev do not listen and do not resign?

- Initially, it is clear that there will be no resignations voluntarily. That is why we will escalate, closing the whole country and we will force them, we will make them leave. There is no other option. Walking on yellow cobblestones, squares, walking on the beach and drinking coffee have never been an option. People who drink coffee did it in 2013. Well, and?

- It is clear that walking through the central streets only wastes the energy of the protest. You are preparing unprecedented strikes, but what exactly will they mean?

- The last few days walks (during the protests) have become almost mandatory, the number of people in Sofia is incredible! It looks like 1997, and the energy of young and educated people literally electrifies everything. So - Strike. National strike. Closing the whole country. State and municipal buildings, roads, stations, airports and ports. Everything!

- Do you follow what is happening in neighboring Serbia and do you make analogies between those in power there and those in our country?

- It is similar. Sole governance, huge corruption, poverty and hopelessness. People have been brought to despair here and in Serbia.

- Voices are heard that among the protesters there are those who were paid by Bozhkov, Tsvetan Vassilev and the Bobokovi brothers. How would you respond to such a statement?

- After the announcement in this sense by the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic, I asked the people paid by Bozhkov to raise their hands during the protest. Everyone raised their hands. Now we are waiting for the money from Belgrade and the other oligarchs. I had not heard of the Bobokovs, but we will accept any help, so to speak - the revolution costs money. Cherry balls, embroidered uniforms, flags. It all costs money ...

- Provocateurs are always involved during protests. How do you deal with them?

- We are doing well. It is scheduled from day one. We have a lot of volunteers who help with that as well.

- Is there a revolution that has achieved its cherished goals without bloodshed?

- Hmmmm. Before - no. We are now 2020 and we have the privilege of learning from the mistakes of others. Moreover, we do not need this (blood). Naturally, if the government commits another mass beating, as on the second day of the protests, people will drop the cloak of civilization and grab their sticks. But it depends on the government. We are not there for that.

- Do you worry about yourself and your loved ones after you have been identified as one of the leaders of the protests?

- Deliberately, the protest has no leaders, although not for this reason. I am the Organizer, the instigator, yes. And to the question - I'm not afraid. I refuse to be afraid. If I have to die tomorrow, it will not be out of fear./Stefan


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Tags: Nikolay Hadjigenov, interview, protest, Bulgaria


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