Bulgaria’s Political Flames are Engulfing the Country
Covid-19 isn’t the only contagion spreading across the world in 2020. The restrictive conditions required under the new environment brought on by the disease has inspired a wave of protests with people all over the world speaking out against injustice and corruption. Bulgaria is no exception.
By Tyler Adams
Democracy in Bulgaria has been struggling to thrive since the era of communist occupation. Yet, when Prime Minister Borissov and his allies raided the president’s offices and detained his staff under the pretense of committing treason, it became clear to Bulgarians that the situation had escalated.
This aggressive action was viewed as retaliation against the prime minister’s biggest and loudest critic, President Radev. Bulgaria’s president has repeatedly accused the prime minister of colluding with oligarchs for financial and political gain. Prime Minister Borissov has also been suspected of purposely delaying corruption investigations and legal proceedings. This has spurred the Bulgarian people to take to the streets under the rallying call 'Mafia Out.'
Transparency International classifies Bulgaria as the most corrupt country in the EU. Corruption in Bulgaria isn’t limited to the political realm. It is a deep-seated reality of the country’s economy and social system. Corruption, blackmail and collusion are a customary way of life.
The raid on President Radev’s office was the spark that lit an already gasoline dowsed fire. People took to the streets in the thousands demanding the resignation of the prime minister and his government. Protests have been mostly peaceful, but, there are claims of violence on both sides. Now, in addition to demanding Borissov’s resignation, the people are calling for an end to police brutality, a global movement ignited by the death of George Floyd.
For Radev, the target on his back gets bigger as he not only supports the resignation of the current government but he also fully supports the widespread protests happening in his country.
Even though Prime Minister Borissov refused to step down, he sacrificed many key ministers from his government, firing them in a feeble move to pacify the long-lasting political disarray. Unfortunately, the attempt to appease the protestors failed as thousands rallied in the streets the following day, demanding his head on a platter.
Borissov may be facing a parliamentary vote of no-confidence initiated by the opposition. Yet, it seems as though this attempt to obstruct his authority won’t slow him down.
Like most political movements, the strength of their power is only evident when people are given the chance to voice their opinion through the ballot. With election slated to be held in Bulgaria next year, 2021 will be a critical time for the nation as well as an opportunity to usher in positive change.