Bulgaria’s influential DPS says it expects early election within 2 months

By bne IntelliNews September 26, 2020

Bulgaria’s ethnic-Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) expects that the country will hold an early general election within two months, the party’s MP Halil Letifov said in an interview with public broadcaster BNT on September 25.

The statement follows nearly three months of mass protests demanding the resignations of the government and of chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev.

Although the DPS is formally in opposition, it is widely believed to have a strong influence on the government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. Moreover, analysts believe that once the DPS withdraws its support, the government will be forced to step down.

“The election is knocking on the door and we are already in a period of election campaign, it is a matter of a month or two,” Letifov said.

Borissov’s former right hand, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who is expected to start his own political party in the coming days, commented that an election organised by the ruling Gerb party would not be fair as he claimed the party would use all the resource it has while in power to win. Tsvetanov was the man who organised all Gerb’s previous election campaigns before being forced to leave the party.

In May 2019, Tsvetanov resigned from all posts in parliament and in Gerb after independent investigative news outlet Bivol.bg along with Radio Free Europe and an investigative NGO published information that Tsvetanov had bought an extremely luxurious apartment in Sofia for less than 25% of its market value.

This June, Tsvetanov left Gerb and indicated he will establish his own political project. Following his decision to quit Gerb, dozens of party members also left. The new party, Republicans for Bulgaria, plans to run in the next election without coalition partners.

Tsvetanov also accused Borissov of acting directly in favour of the DPS in number of cases. Gerb denied the accusation and called Tsvetanov a liar, news outlet Dnevnik reported.

Meanwhile, in a live broadcast while driving his Jeep, Borissov accused his fiercest critic, President Rumen Radev, of being behind gangster-style photos from his bedroom that provoked yet another scandal several months ago. 

In June, local media received anonymous photographs of Borissov sleeping in his bedroom next to a Glock 9mm handgun and a drawer full of €500 bills and gold bars. The prime minister confirmed their authenticity, saying they were taken in the residence he is using as premier.

The photos were revealed several days after local media received, again anonymously, a recording of a phone conversation between two people, one of whose voice and tone sound like Borissov’s. During the conversation, he told his interlocutor, whose identity was unknown, how he pushed theoretically independent authorities to put pressure on businessmen or to stop deals. In the same conversation, the person called parliament speaker Tsveta Karayancheva by a vulgar epithet, claiming she was stupid. Several EU leaders were also mentioned in the recording, again accompanied by vulgar statements. There was no proof of the authenticity of this recording, which was revealed a day before Borissov’s birthday.

Borissov said that people close to Radev sent “one wonderful miss” to take the photos, but claimed the money and gold were manipulations. He also commented on the recordings, saying that he has recordings of Radev but without providing details.

However, his admission provoked outrage with many people saying that Borissov has actually admitted that all the compromising photos and recordings were authentic – which has already been announced by independent international experts.

“Well, that’s it. Borissov has admitted. Everything is true,” Lyubomir Alamanov, prominent PR expert, wrote on Facebook.

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