With a kind of "tour" around the country, the new formation on the Bulgarian political stage – "We Continue the Change" party, started meetings with its supporters. The first cities visited by the two former caretaker ministers Kiril Petkov and Assen Vassilev were their hometowns of Plovdiv and Haskovo and conversations with locals have shown them that the tasks they set were feasible and worth working for. Speaking to BNR-Plovdiv Kiril Petkov revealed what type of people would be present in their list of MP candidates.
"Assen Vassilev and I started a program 14 years ago, which we called the Harvard Courses. In it we chose the most talented students – masters from all over Bulgaria. There were lawyers, economists, doctors and we paid for their education. For these 14 years, 671 people have passed these courses. This will be one of the sources for our party. There will be also people who have succeeded in their businesses."
In an interview with BNR-Horizont Petkov added:
"We are not a presidential party, but we support the president because he had the courage to give young people freedom to act. When you see our lists, you will understand how clean this project is. All the people on our list are our personal choices, which we both agree with.”
When it comes to collaboration with other political formations, Assen Vassilev dispelled the doubts caused by the evasive statements about cooperation with the MRF and GERB.
In an interview with Nova TV, he said they were open to anyone who had recognized the ways the new party wants to introduce into the next government. "There is a huge dividing line between us and the MRF, related to Delyan Peevski and the Magnitsky Act. As long as the MRF stands firmly behind him and claims that the United States made a mistake in announcing his name on the list of those sanctioned, we cannot start talks with them. When it comes to GERB, we have the same type of problems,” Vassilev added.
Despite strong demands from the two former ministers for full transparency and integrity, there are still a number of unanswered questions about the political project:
"There have been many hints, one of which is that the party was created with the blessing of the president, in order to attract people who would otherwise have difficulties recognizing General Radev's candidacy as worthy of re-election," social anthropologist Vasil Garnizov says. “These are centrists who do not have a very lasting political attachment and do not show that political loyalty is their main value. The very construction of the party suggests that it was created as something aimed at adding garnish to the president's voters."
The new formation will certainly be an equal competitor to the others, but sociologist Parvan Simeonov forecasts that the main competitors of "We Continue the Change" will be two political formations - BSP and "Democratic Bulgaria". Each of them perceives the situation differently:
"There are two approaches here. The old-fashioned BSP, who are saying that the new formation would split them and Democratic Bulgaria that say the new party is their potential partner. DB have realized one of the most important lessons of our time - the future of politics lies in networks and not in monolithic hierarchical structures."
Compiled by: Yoan Kolev
English: Alexander MarkovPhotos: BGNES, BNR
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