Bulgarian PM defies protesters’ call to quit
SOFIA - Agence France-Presse
Protesters hold signs and chant slogans during a demonstration in Sofia. REUTERS photoBulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski defied calls on June 16 to resign from thousands of protesters still angry over his controversial appointment of the country’s top security chief, even though he reversed the decision.
About 15,000 protesters gathered outside the government headquarters in downtown Sofia. Many were waving Bulgarian flags and shouting “Mafia!,” “Resign!” and “Red garbage!” in what amounted to the biggest rallies in the past three days.
“Tabling a resignation now would be an easy personal decision but an extremely irresponsible one due to the danger of new destabilization in the country,” Oresharski said in a statement. Oresharski warned the renewed political crisis might jeopardize Bulgaria’s negotiations for EU aid between 2014 and 2020. President Rosen Plevneliev has demanded an immediate review of the controversial appointment, saying he had lost confidence in the government.
Oresharski’s decision to appoint 32-year-old media mogul Delyan Peevski as chief of DANS and parliament’s rapidity in rubber stamping the nomination had angered the population. Peevski offered to step down from the post and Oresharski said he accepted the resignation. Peevski, who has no experience in the security sector, is a lawmaker from the Turkish minority party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which is a key supporter of the government.