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Rumen Petkov, MP from Coalition for Bulgaria: The BSP Chairman needs to be chosen through direct elections


- Mr. Petkov, recently the Chairman of the BSP, Sergei Stanishev, stated that since 2009, the Party has received multiple proposals from GERB to form a coalition government, while all of them have been unofficial. Would you say something more on that topic?
- I am surprised to some extent by this statement of the BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party) Chairman. I have no such impressions since it is rather visible that GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party) is striving to insult and humiliate our party.

The question posed by you is actually very serious and it must be answered by Sergei Stanishev himself. This issue, this topic must be considered by the governing bodies of our Party because analysis is needed on such probable proposals, which must detect their real purpose, motives and conceptual content. Because once an allegation is reported to the media, it becomes certainly news, but we have to see what lies behind it.

- The question has its own projection for the future - whether and under what conditions the left-wing party would rule with GERB?

- It is important for the BSP to assess its coalition format. This is a matter of fairness in order not to keep in suspense our partners from the Coalition for Bulgaria. I am not hiding that part of them share with me their worries and concerns. Over the recent years, the meetings of the Advisory Board of the Coalition are too sparse, which I repeat once again - provokes concerns in our partners. If at the previous local elections our party gained different results in 7 municipalities only, then at the vote in 2011 this happened at much more places. Obviously, the result was due to the lack of dialog and the desire to find the general, good, beneficial solutions for the population in these municipalities.

In fact, the BSP Chairman is the one responsible for the Coalition's policy. I find it difficult to comment in detail because I have not been dealing with it for more than two years now. However it is very important to asses the current format of Coalition for Bulgaria. And secondly, in May the BSP congress must outline also one framework of policies, which the party should firmly pursue.
Otherwise, the topical issue of coalition with GERB will become absolutely untenable and it is impossible to be discussed seriously.

- You already mentioned the upcoming BSP Congress ... Having declared that he would run for a BSP leader, Georgi Parvanov launched the idea that the BSP chairman should not be elected by the Congress, but rather via direct election by all party members. Which option you think is more reasonable?
- Even disregarding the political experience of Greece and other European social democracies, there will be still at least two very strong arguments now in favor of conducting direct election of the new BSP chairman.

The first motive is related to the BSP status and opportunities of the party's mobilisation. It is no secret that BSP is in bad, not to say in poor organisational condition.
The second motive concerns questions raised by some of the leadership members relating to the actual number of individual municipal party organisations. One of the ways for the latter to be counted, roughly speaking, is the direct election of the new BSP chairman. This will reassure the party members that they are involved in the key decision-making process.

I think that the direct election of the BSP chairman would be very useful and very powerful solution. It is not true that there are statutory constraints. On May 19, the Congress will decide on the statute amendment introducing the direct election of the new BSP chairman next Saturday.

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