Bulgaria's Borissov demands resignation of 'mafia' type government amid anti-corruption protests

WION Web Team Sofia, Bulgaria Jul 11, 2020, 10.24 PM(IST)

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev Photograph:( AFP )

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Radev, who was elected in 2016 with the votes of the Socialist Party, is a vocal critic of prime minister Boyko Borissov’s centre-right government, accusing it of corruption, lack of justice and suppression of the freedom of speech.

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev on Saturday called for the resignation of the government, which he described as having a "mafia character", after police raids on his offices during the week which Radev blamed on the prime minister.

The president's legal affairs and anti-corruption secretary and his security and defence advisor were detained for questioning on Thursday and their offices searched as part of two separate probes into influence-peddling and disclosure of state secrets.

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The searches brought thousands of demonstrators onto the streets of Sofia to condemn the raids as an attack by the conservative government and the chief prosecutor against the Socialists-backed Radev.

Bulgarian police arrested 18 people late on Friday after scuffles during anti-corruption protests near a demonstration by government supporters in the centre of the capital Sofia.

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Radev, who was elected in 2016 with the votes of the Socialist Party, is a vocal critic of prime minister Boyko Borissov’s centre-right government, accusing it of corruption, lack of justice and suppression of the freedom of speech.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, Sofia, to demand the resignation of Borissov and chief prosecutor Ivan Gechev, accusing them of corruption and links to criminal groups.

The protests were sparked earlier this week after Geshev ordered raids of the president’s headquarters and the arrests of two of his aides on suspicion of influence peddling.

Borissov has been in power since 2009 and his third term is scheduled to end in March next year.