Ethnic Turk Party ‘Stoking Bulgaria Conflict’

24 October 2008 Sofia _ The only way Bulgaria’s main ethnic Turk party can retain power is to stoke terrorism and inter-ethnic conflict, the Mayor of Sofia and opposition leader, Boyko Borisov claims.

In a statement set to ratchet up the tensions ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections, the mayor of the Bulgarian capital and the informal leader of the GERB party took a direct swipe at the ethnic Turkish party, The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which is one of the three parties in the current ruling coalition.

The party has been a junior partner in Bulgaria's governing coalitions since 2001.

But Borisov argued that the Movement for Rights and Freedoms leader, Ahmed Dogan had finally understood his party would not retain power when GERB heads the next government of the country.

"The aim of provoking ethnic destabilisation would be to scare everyone who saw what happened in Kosovo and Pristina so that they would say, ‘We'd better let the Movement for Rights and Freedoms commit their outrageous acts in the government than risk having an ethnic conflict,’” Borisov explained.

He emphasised that President Georgi Parvanov, and Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev had explained before that there would an ethnic conflict if the Movement for Rights and Freedoms was not part of the governing coalition.

In his words, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms leaders are worried because if they were not part of Bulgaria's next government, all their abuses of power would be revealed.

The Sofia Mayor stated once again explicitly that his party GERB would never form a coalition with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms if it came to rule the country.

Borisov, who is a former Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry, argued that the truth around last week’s alleged suicide of Ahmed Emin, the head of the political cabinet of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms leader Ahmed Dogan, would never be revealed.

Ethnic Turks make up around ten percent of Bulgaria’s population.

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