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The expert commented on the protests in Bulgaria

Protests in Bulgaria caused by the confrontation between the President and the government, they can lead to an early parliamentary and presidential elections, as the country is now paralysis of all branches of government, says a senior researcher of the Institute of Slavic studies Peter Iskenderov.

In Bulgaria for a week of protests that began on 9 July in Sofia with thousands of actions in support of the President rumen Radeva. Bulgarian media called cause of the protests the arrests of the President's advisors on security issues, and legal matters. Advisors had been detained in cases related to the disclosure of state secrets and abuse of influence for personal gain.

As the expert noted, the protests in Bulgaria are part of the overall unstable situation on the Balkan Peninsula. A catalyst for instability, he said, was socio-economic crisis, caused by a coronavirus pandemic, financial crisis and instability in the financial markets.

"But in Bulgaria the situation is aggravated by the confrontation between the two branches of government – presidential and governmental. The last few years, the President and Prime Minister hold different positions on key issues both internal and external policy, especially foreign," - said RIA Novosti Isgandarov.

According to him, the President Radev takes a more balanced position on the issues of development of relations of Bulgaria with the USA, NATO, EU and Russia, while Prime Minister Boyko Borisov takes a more assertive Pro-Western stance.

"In addition, in Bulgaria actively played the so-called Russian card. In the past few months, first of all, the government took a number of unfriendly steps towards Russia. In addition, Bulgaria adheres to the anti-Russian sanctions. And now, these protests show that Bulgarian society is divided roughly in half in terms of support for Pro-Western course, which represents Boyko Borisov, and the more prudent course. When it is superimposed on the socio-economic crisis, it is clear that people blame the crisis not so much the President, as the government, which has real leverage," - said the expert.

In addition, said Iskandarov, Prime Minister Borisov belongs to the category of politicians who have taken active steps to strengthen their own positions, to neutralise his political opponents. "And of course on the Bulgarian political stage, he has extensive experience and the settling of political scores, and involvement of administrative resource in order to achieve some of the objectives it has set for itself", - he said.

According to Iskandarov, the protests could lead to full-blown long-running political crisis in the country and the holding of early parliamentary and presidential elections.

"Most likely, after all Bulgaria expect early elections. It is obvious that here we will talk about updating both to the composition of the Parliament and presidential election, because now there is paralysis of all branches of power in Bulgaria, the Executive and the legislative," he believes.

However, the analyst said that the expected full-scale armed uprisings or civil wars as a consequence of the protests is not necessary, since Bulgaria is a member of the EU and NATO. "European mechanisms, of course, will lead to the fact that these protests will be cropped. Most likely, Brussels will make every effort to seat all parties at the negotiating table", - says the analyst.

Wednesday, 15 July, the Bulgarian socialist party (BSP) submitted to Parliament the question of the censure motion which the opposition accuses of corruption. Later, the President Radev called on the government to resign, calling it "the oligarchic model of governance is settled."