Tuesday, January 12, 2010

14/1 2010

14 January 2009 was the date when thousand of protesters, from various Bulgarian NGO's gathered in a protest against corruption and mis-government, bigger and stronger than anything the country had seen in years.

The crowd was eventually dispersed violently, something that caused an outcry among civil activists, and helped create a movement of youth calling for a truly democratic Bulgaria, centered around the blog Bulgaria e nasha.

In the following spring, much of the energy, not least at Bulgaria e nasha, was spent at fighting the ZES legislation, that would have given the ministry of interior direct access to citizens electronical data. In the wake of the police's actions at the protest, and with the ministry of interior's history in mind, activists were very concerned about surveillance. I understand them.

Against odds, the activists won. The then ruling socialist dominated coalition did not manage to get the parliament to accept the legislation, before it was ousted and replaced by Borisovs government.


Dissapointed, and more or less surprised, the activists saw how Borisovs GERB, witht the support of Ataka, could easily lead the same legislation through the parliament witout any strong opposition. The same legislation that they had vehemently been against before (at least Ataka).

Therefore, at the 14 of January 2010, a new demonstration has been announced in front of the parliament, the place that hosted not only the demonstrations one year earlier, but also the storming of the parliament in 1997 and the protest against the communist leaders in 1989. The demands are as follows:
  1. The responsible  minister should immediately ask for the cancellation of the legislative project.
  2. Quick and thourough measures to make the MVR a modern instution meeting European standards
  3. In case legslative changes are necessary, these should be done first after consulting a wide range of civil interests and experts

Protests in front of the parliament has a strong symbolism, and is probably the last thing Borisov wants. So the Sofia mayor, who comes from his own GERB party, has declined to stop the movement of traffic on the square. The organisors of the protest calls this sabotage, from the mayors office it is said that a part of the square has been reserved for the protesters.

In East European politics, the capital mayors play an important role. Borisovs has managed to get full control over both Bulgaria and Sofia, which makes him unhealthy strong.

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