Bulgarian Socialist Party

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Bulgarian Socialist Party
Българска социалистическа партия
Bǎlgarska socialističeska partija
Leader Mihail Mikov
Founder Alexander Lilov
Founded 3 April 1990
Headquarters 20 Positano Street, Sofia
Youth wing Bulgarian Socialist Youth
Membership 50,000
Ideology Democratic socialism
Political position Centre-left
National affiliation Coalition for Bulgaria
International affiliation Socialist international
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colours Red
National Assembly
39 / 240
European Parliament
4 / 17
Politics of Bulgaria
Political parties

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (Bulgarian: Българска социалистическа партия, БСП; Bulgarska sotsialisticheska partiya, BSP), known as the Centenarian (Столетницата, Stoletnitsata),[1] is a social-democratic[2] political party in Bulgaria and successor to the Bulgarian Communist Party. The BSP is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Socialist International, and is currently led by Mihail Mikov. It is the leading component of the Coalition for Bulgaria, a centre-left coalition.


The Bulgarian Socialist Party is recognized as the successor of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party created on 2 August 1891 on Buzludzha peak by Dimitar Blagoev, designated in 1903 as the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party (Narrow Socialists) and later as the Bulgarian Communist Party.[3] The party was formed after the political changes of 1989, when the Communist Party abandoned Marxism–Leninism and refounded itself as the 'Bulgarian Socialist Party' in April 1990.

The party formed government after the Constitutional Assembly elections of 1990, but was forced to resign after a general strike that December. A non-partisan government led by Dimitar Popov took over until the next elections in October of 1991. In the aftermath the party was confined to opposition. As part of the Democratic Left coalition (forerunner of the Coalition of Bulgaria), it helped form new government in 1995, headed by BSP leader Zhan Videnov as Prime Minister. Its term ended at the end of 1996, after the country entered into a spiral of hyperinflation, the most serious economic and financial crisis in its recent history. Large-scale demonstrations in the cities and a general strike prevented the formation of a new socialist government.

In 2001, party chairman Georgi Parvanov was elected President of Bulgaria on the second round, defeating incumbent SDS candidate on the second ballot. Parvanov resigned as party chairman and was succeeded by Sergei Stanishev.

After two full terms out of power (1997–2005), the BSP and its allies in the Coalition for Bulgaria won the national elections of 2005 with 31.0% of the votes and formed a coalition with the centrist party National Movement Simeon II and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS). The cabinet was headed by the Prime Minister and BSP chairman Sergei Stanishev. In 2006 Georgi Parvanov was reelected president in a landslide, becoming the first Bulgarian president to be reelected directly by the public. In 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union. Later, the triple-coalition lost millions of Euros of European financial aid in the wake of allegations of widespread political corruption. The cabinet was also unable to react to the encroaching world economic crisis and its term ended with a budget deficit after several successive surplus years.[4]

In the 2009 parliamentary elections, the BSP was roundly defeated by the new conservative party GERB, obtaining a mere 37 out of 240 parliamentary seats (18%), and went into opposition.

In the 2013 parliamentary elections the party took 26.6% of the votes, second behind GERB with 30.5%. Nevertheless, the party's candidate for prime minister, Plamen Oresharski, and his proposed government were elected with the parliament support of the BSP and the DPS. The appointment of the controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski as head of the state security agency DANS, sparked large-scale protests on 14 June.[5] Demonstrations urging the government to step down continued until the government resigned in July of the following year.


In 2009, around 500,000 people in Bulgaria had membership in political parties, of whom 50,000 were members of the Bulgarian Socialist Party.[6]

Saddam's oil vouchers[edit]

The party received 12,000,000 barrels (1,900,000 m3) worth of oil vouchers in the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme, according to the paper "The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270".[7]

Georgi Parvanov, who was chairman of the party in 1998 when the alleged misconduct was happening (and was President of Bulgaria when the story broke in 2004) denied these allegations explaining that the party's financing was transparent and legitimate.[8] However, this allegation had little impact on the public image of the party at the time it was unveiled. No further evidence to support these claims was found.

List of chairmen[edit]


  1. ^ "Столетницата избра Бриго за София" (in Bulgarian). Dnes.bg. 2007-09-01. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck. Parties-and-elections.de. Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  3. ^ "История" (in Bulgarian). Българска социалистическа партия. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Budget Deficit Tops BGN 386 M in January–July 2009 – Novinite.com – Sofia News Agency. Novinite.com (2009-09-01). Retrieved on 2011-10-23.
  5. ^ Bulgarians protests over media magnate as security chief, Reuters, June 14, 2013
  6. ^ "500 000 Bulgarians are members of parties". 
  7. ^ "The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270". The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). January 29, 2004. 
  8. ^ "Iraq: Report That Hussein Bribed Foreign Leaders Sparks Denials, Calls For Investigations". rferl.org. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 

External links[edit]