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Mass protests sweep Bulgaria’s main cities

June 17, 2013, 18:11 UTC+3

Thousands of demonstrators insisted on government resignation

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SOFIA, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - Mass anti-government protests swept Bulgaria last Sunday. Thousands of demonstrators insisted on government resignation, a change of model of running the state and new elections.

According to the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, about 15,000 people marched in Sofia blocking all traffic in the city center. Police put up metal encirclements around the building of the Bulgarian People’s Assembly (parliament) and pulled in additional police force. The demonstrators protested against the policy of Prime Minister Platen Oresharski, the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the former party of power Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria. Then, the demonstrators headed for the headquarters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Ataka and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) where they chanted “mafia” and “resignation.” Despite the scope of protests, police reported no incidents, the Interior Ministry said.

About 2,000 people held an anti-government protest in Varna. About 3,000 people gathered in Plovdiv to express their disagreement with the new government’s policy. About 500 people protested in Burgas.

A government decision to appoint a deputy from a party that represents the Turkish ethnic minority as the head of the State National Security Service provoked mass anti-government actions across Bulgaria. Despite the fact that Deputy Delyan Peyevski agreed to give up his post, protests continue in major Bulgarian cities. They have grown into clear anti-government protests.

The press service of the Bulgarian prime minister distributed a statement on Monday about the situation in the country. “Resignation is a simple solution in this situation but extremely irresponsible in connection with a threat of a new wave of destabilization in the country,” Oresharski said.

"The public reactions said that the proposed candidacy (Peyevski) was socially unacceptable. The law obliges me to propose a new candidate to the post of chairman of the State National Security Service. A series of meetings and consultations will be held in the next few days so that a new figure which I am going to suggest finds public support,” the prime minister said.



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