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BSP Crisis: European Parliament Election in Turmoil Amid Leadership Conflict and Potential Party Split

Only one of the five reds in the European Parliament can again find a place on the list for Brussels

BSP has no way forward with Cornelia Ninova at the helm. These sharp words are from one of the strongest supporters of the social leader since she led the party – Rumen Ovcharov. He uttered them in a devastating analysis of the state of the BSP and as a warning to Ninova not to look for a third mandate, which would be unconstitutional.

The election of a new leader will be in October, the party’s National Council decided on Saturday, adopting a timetable for a full cycle of elections. Until the congress in November, the socialists will have to change all their leaders – from the local structures to the chairman. BSP organizational secretary Borislav Gutsanov (right) talks with Deyan Dechev and Asen Gagauzov from Sliven, and later the National Assembly expelled several members of the party from there. Photo: Nikolay Litov

According to the statute, Cornelia Ninova does not have the right to run again. Art. 18 para. 2 of the party’s constitution states that the chairman cannot be elected for more than two consecutive terms. On Saturday itself

Ninova denied speculation that she was planning a charter change,

which would allow her to lead the BSP again.

However, Kiril Dobrev, expelled from the party, suggested another possible option for this to happen. “Cornelia Ninova can be chairman for 2 terms according to the statute. And she has been like that since 2016. The two mandates have passed. However, today the committee subordinate to her will soon come out with a decision that she can run for a third term. The trampling of the statute in the BSP has become a daily routine,” said Dobrev to Nova TV.

“Who is Cyril Dobrev to comment on him? And his statement itself clearly shows ignorance of the processes in the BSP. How can a person who was the organizing secretary talk such nonsense? Statutes are changed at a congress. The congress will be in November and the election of the president will be in October, therefore there is no way to change the constitution before the election of the president. The person does not know the party and its procedures”, Ninova rejected both options. Otherwise, when asked if she is considering a third term, she explained that it is still too early to discuss.

The direct election of a leader from the entire party was written into the statute in 2017. However, the first such election was held in 2020, when Ninova’s first term expired, but she was elected under the old rules – by the congress in 2016. Therefore, socialists allow an option, in which the All-Party Control Commission comes out with an opinion that

the counting of mandates starts again from the direct vote

A third unconstitutional mandate will be a gross political mistake, Rumen Ovcharov warned before the plenum. He recognized the merits of Ninova for the fight against the parallel state, for clearing the clientele from the party, but was adamant that the BSP has no way forward with her at the head. Rumen Ovcharov arrived at the plenum with his daughter Teodora. Photo: Nikolay Litov

Cornelia, you close the circle – you once came out as an alternative to the eternal and irreplaceable Stanishev,

don’t become a new Stanishev,

the former minister addressed her. And he gave an example that the leader lost more parliamentary elections than all her predecessors combined.

Ninova has lost 5 parliamentary votes, and all chairpersons since Lilov have up to 3 losses in the battle for the National Assembly, he recalled.

That is why Ovcharov asked for a manageable, organized transition to a new leadership of the BSP in the internal elections in October.

BSP cannot bear another carnage,

there is no need for an internal party fight, because there are already 200 thousand people, and we must step on the healthy cores and organizations in order to build anew, the former minister was categorical.

Despite this warning, the plenum decided to exclude about 30 socialists – from Shumen and Sliven. The self-exclusion from the party of Mincho Afuzov, who ran as an independent candidate for mayor in Sliven, was also established, after “Positano” 20 refused to accept the decision of the local red structure to support him and raised a gene. Kolyu Milev.

The plenary approved the criteria for nominating candidates for the European Parliament elections on June 9. At the moment, the BSP has five MEPs, but expectations are that only one of them – Tsvetelina Petkova – will find a place in the lists again. The other four – Sergey Stanishev, Petar Vitanov, Elena Yoncheva and Ivo Hristov – are opposition to Ninova. (See below.)

For now, the name of the deputy head of the BSP and the National Assembly Christian Vigenin, who already has experience with one term in the EP and was also foreign minister, is being considered as a possible leader of the list.

Ninova herself described what kind of candidates she will be looking for: people who are pro-European, but who will protect Bulgarian sovereignty and national interest.

Nominations begin in February, and the final decision will be made by the National Council in April.

MEPs rejected by “Positano” are playing again, but with a different card?

Four of the current red MEPs have no chance for a new mandate through the BSP. That is why it is possible that they will join the game again, but already as part of another left-wing party – a presidential party or a coalition around the “Left”. Petar Vitanov Photo: Nikolay Litov Elena Yoncheva Photo: Yordan Simeonov

Petar Vitanov, Sergey Stanishev, Elena Yoncheva and Ivo Hristov are part of the internal opposition of Kornelia Ninova. At a congress last year, Petar Vitanov was even expelled from the BSP. After that, he headed the initiative committee, which collects signatures for a referendum to keep March 3 as a national holiday. The initiative is associated with President Rumen Radev and the rumors about his party, which are periodically renewed.

Therefore, it is possible that as a civil association “Third of March” will re-nominate as MEPs the four rejected by the BSP. Yoncheva and Hristov were part of Radev’s first team, but they flew to Brussels from the list of BSP. In the last year, however, Ivo Hristov has warmed his relations with the president, “Dondukov” revealed 2. Sergey Stanishev Photo: Yordan Simeonov Ivo Hristov PHOTO: Ivo Hristov’s Facebook

I don’t know yet, nominations for the BSP are yet to come, Ivo Hristov said succinctly to “24 Chasa” on Sunday. When asked if he would participate in the list put up by a possible presidential or other left-wing formation, he explained that practically there are none.

“At this stage, this issue is not on the agenda for me. I want to finish my work on the legislation in the EP and then I will think”, said Petar Vitanov.

Sergey Stanishev did not answer the calls of “24 Chasa”, and Elena Yoncheva’s phone was turned off.

2024-01-21 19:01:00

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