The New Year’s addresses of the Bulgarian politicians are usually loaded with messages which fill the citizens with positive adjustments. This time, however, things were different. Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev accentuated on the negative aspects and developments in 2018, this country’s Premier Boyko Borissov put the emphasis on the positive developments and the leader of opposition party BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party) Kornelia Ninova wished for a change of the status quo in the new 2019.
According to President Rumen Radev, 2018 was a year of corruption scandals and an erosion of democratic rights and institutions and instead of being solved the problems were delayed, while arbitrariness continued to gain ground over law and justice. These strong words can be interpreted as a criticism over the coalition government of GERB and the United Patriots. However, President Radev was adamant that the Bulgarians are capable of emerging from any crisis and impasse by overcoming selfishness and fear and by pooling their efforts in the name of justice, sovereignty, lawfulness and an enlightened future. The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Kornelia Ninova wished that 2019 would be a year of brave decisions and actions that would put an end of the status quo and change this country for the better. The statements of the Bulgarian head of state and the leader of the biggest opposition party in Bulgaria can be interpreted as a call for a radical political change through change of the government model. In 2019 two types of elections will be held in this country- elections for European Parliament and local elections. However, regular Parliamentary elections are not on this country’s schedule for 2019.
The leader of the nationalistic Ataka party Volen Siderov said that the Bulgarians are the ones who will determine whether depopulation of this country will continue in 2019 or the trend will be reversed. Volen Siderov’s New Year’s address mainly focused on the international situation. Siderov voiced expectations that in 2019 changes will occur globally, in Europe, as well as in Bulgaria. Apparently, his attention is focused on the forthcoming European elections. The leader of Ataka party perhaps wants to head the candidate list of the United Patriots for the elections for European Parliament, but his coalition partners from VMRO and NFSB Krasimir Karakachanov and Valeri Simeonov are of different opinion. Two months ago Siderov had warned that if GERB and the United Patriots fail to score a higher result than the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms at the forthcoming European elections, Bulgaria will head towards early Parliamentary elections.
The leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms Mustafa Karadayi said that 2019 will be a year of new challenges and opportunities for Bulgaria and Europe. Together we can make the changes that will bring our motherland on a better road, Mustafa Karadayi pointed out in his New Year’s address. The MRF which is also an opposition party refrains from any extreme actions and is following carefully the political situation in Bulgaria in a bid to play again a balancing role in Bulgaria’s political life.
Bulgaria’s Premier Boyko Borissov chose to make a positive New Year’s address. He accentuated on Bulgaria’s active participation in the EU debates on migration, the accession of the Western Balkans to the EU and Brexit. Premier Borissov also placed the emphasis on the record-high state budget, the growth of the gross domestic product, salaries and pensions. Apparently, GERB will accentuate on these figures during the forthcoming election campaign as well.
English version: Kostadin Atanasov
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