news 08 Jul 13

Bulgaria Protesters Seek President’s Impeachment

Thousands of Bulgarians who have staged daily rallies calling for the prime minister’s resignation have now begun calling for the impeachment of President Rosen Plevneliev.

Protesters who have held anti-government protests every day since mid-June have launched a petition demanding Plevneliev’s impeachment.

On Friday, Bulgaria’s biggest nationalist party, Ataka, a key group in the current parliament, also demanded that the president is removed from office after he called for snap general elections.

"We are shocked by the unconstitutional behaviour of that person who plays the role of a president. His statement showed he is politically biased,” said Ataka party leader Volen Siderov.

Earlier in the day Plevneliev had suggested that new polls were the only way out of the political turbulence that has gripped the EU state.

“Early parliamentary elections are the only democratic solution to the crisis we are in. To tell people that new early elections are a dangerous scenario is to tell them that democracy is dangerous,” Plevneliev during an address to the nation about the tense situation in the country.

He warned that although the protests have been peaceful so far, there had been “attempts to artificially provoke ethnic conflicts”.

“This means playing with fire and the consequences could be disastrous. Haven’t we learned anything from our neighbours? I firmly condemn those provocations,” he said.

Public discontent erupted after the appointment of a controversial media mogul, Delyan Peevski, as chair of the State Agency for National Security.

The protesters were not appeased by the subsequent cancellation of the decision and went on to demand the resignation of the Socialist-led cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski over alleged ties to oligarchs.

The demonstrations started just months after protests forced out the previous government in February.

Plevneliev said that the solution to the crisis was not "revolution, but right steps in the right direction".

He said that the situation was damaging investments but that the economy remained stable.

Bulgaria’s embattled Socialist-backed government has repeatedly denied speculation that it is considering resigning over the protests.

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