The protests in Bulgaria against the government of Prime Minister Bojko Borissov have flared up again. Last night thousands of people demonstrated at the parliament building in Sofia. There were riots in which dozens of people were injured. The ME arrested about sixty protesters.
It was one of the biggest protests since the beginning of the anti-corruption protests two months ago. The protesters hold Borissov responsible for the country’s problems and are demanding his departure.
On the square in front of the parliament, according to the police, demonstrators threw about a hundred (fireworks) bombs at officers.
Using a water cannon, among other things, the ME wiped the square clean:
During the day demonstrators pelted the police with eggs, apples and pepper spray. The ME also used pepper spray. According to the authorities, approximately 45 people were injured, including police officers.
The protest was on the first meeting day of parliament after the summer recess. The protesters seized this moment to announce the beginning of “The Great National Protest”. The protesters are supported by President Rumen Radev, who also believes that Borissov and his centre-right government should resign.
Borissov said in parliament that he wants to tackle corruption by calling elections. The new parliament will then have to vote on an amended constitution, which increases the independence of the judiciary and halves the number of members of parliament.
61-year-old Borissov, who has been in power since 2009, promises to resign if parliament agrees.
But the opposition rejects that plan. “The people will not take to the streets because there is no new constitution. It is about the lack of moral leadership, the erosion of the state and corruption,” said President Radev, who was elected as an independent candidate three years ago. He does not have the power to dismiss the government because the presidency in Bulgaria is mainly a symbolic function.
Despite Borissov’s offer to resign, according to the opposition his proposal is a way to stay in power longer. According to the parties, it will take until at least November before the elections for a new parliament can be held.