Parliamentary elections will be held on March 28, 2021, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev announced.
“Elections must be conducted in a timely manner with delivered and licensed machines and in line with all measures to ensure the right of every Bulgarian to vote,” the President added.
As for the Republic of North Macedonia, the head of state said that, one year after the signing of the Good Neighborliness Agreement, he had asked for the signing of a new annex since there was no progress on the issue.
“A year ago, in September, I convened an emergency consultative meeting with government officials, where I insisted on developing a national framework that would clearly define our terms and red lines. I continue to stand by this proposal,” Rumen Radev said responding to a question by BGNES Agency on whether Bulgaria should defend its position on the issue of North Macedonia or retreat.
He explained that, for now, they would have to wait for the emotions to subside and arm themselves with patience, calmness and common sense. “Our brothers from the Republic of North Macedonia must become members of the EU, but this must be carried out through a sustainable process, where the elimination of anti-Bulgarian rhetoric, hate rhetoric, where the objective recognition of historical truth shall become an reversible process; and on this subject Bulgaria must adamantly defend its rights,” the head of state insisted.
On the issue of vaccines, Radev stated that the matter has a direct impact on the health and lives of Bulgarians, not only in the context of immediately addressing the pandemic, but also for next year. “I expect the government to respond with full responsibility to this issue, to provide a competent and honest explanation of both the benefits and the necessity for this vaccination, as well as of the risks, after receiving all the permits from the European Medicines Agency and the Bulgarian BDA,” he said and iterated that the process shall be voluntary and safeguard the rights of those who will not be vaccinated.
As for whether he would be vaccinated, the president said that he would do it only when there is no shortage of medicine for others, explaining that initially 60,000 doses will arrive in the country and will be administered to risk groups.
“I have no right to strip away from anyone the chance of getting vaccinated. Every Bulgarian’s life is equally precious, whether they are the president, an employee or a worker,” he said.
Rumen Radev added that there was no need to convene an advisory council, and explained that he expects government experts to unite their views, as conveying dubious signals disorients people and creates more stress than reassurance.
Asked what he thought of GERB’s idea of having a prosecutor to investigate the attorney general, the president responded that in this way the government was showing its close ties to the attorney general.
“We are proposed the body of the Prosecutor, where the Attorney General has the full power to appoint the person who will investigate him; we are proposed that the body itself, which elected this Attorney General by a large majority, now select the person who will investigate him. The government’s quasi judicial reforms only betray their goal of concretizing the status quo,” he said, adding that the proposal lacks logic and dignity. /ibna