Bulgarian Socialist Party
|Bulgarian Socialist Party
Българска социалистическа партия
Bulgarska sotsialisticheska partiya
|Founded||3 April 1990 (present name)
|Preceded by||Bulgarian Communist Party|
|Headquarters||20 Positano Street, Sofia|
|Youth wing||Bulgarian Socialist Youth|
|Political position||Centre-left to Left-wing|
|National affiliation||Coalition for Bulgaria|
|International affiliation||Socialist international|
|European affiliation||Party of European Socialists|
|European Parliament group||Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats|
|Politics of Bulgaria
The Bulgarian Socialist Party (Bulgarian: Българска социалистическа партия, БСП; Bulgarska sotsialisticheska partiya, BSP), known as the Centenarian (Столетницата, Stoletnitsata), is a social-democratic 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 Sergei Stanishev. It is the largest party in Bulgaria with 210,000 members in 2009, as well as the party, for which the most people voted in the electoral history. It is the leading component of the Coalition for Bulgaria, a centre-left coalition.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party is recognised 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. 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 a minority government after the Constituent Assembly elections of 1990, but was consigned to opposition in the parliamentary elections a year later. 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.
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 by 31.0% 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 the second part of the coalition's term, Bulgaria, now a member of the European Union, lost millions of Euros of European financial aid in the wake of allegations of widespread political corruption. The cabinet was also slow or unable to react to the encroaching world economic crisis and its term ended with a budget deficit after several successive surplus years.
In the 2009 national elections, the BSP was roundly defeated by the new conservative party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), obtaining a mere 37 out of 240 parliamentary seats (18%), and remained in opposition.
The party has so far been the largest in Bulgaria by number of members. In 2009, around 500,000 people in Bulgaria had membership in political parties, of whom 210,000 were members of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, though the party by the name of the Bulgarian Communist Party had more than 1 million members during Communist rule (1946-1990).
Saddam's oil vouchers
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".
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. 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.
The 2013 election
A survey taken in February 2013 found support for the BSP at 22.5% compared with 19.3% for GERB, suggesting that the BSP may win the upcoming election in May 2013.
The party took 26.6% of the votes, being second after GERB with 30.5%. Nevertheless, the candidate of BSP for prime minister - Plamen Oresharski and his proposed government were elected with the parliament support of the party and DPS. The appointment of the controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski as head of the state security agency DANS, sparked large-scale protests on June 14th. Demonstrations, urging the government to step down, are currently still ongoing.
List of chairmen
- Alexander Lilov (1990–1991)
- Zhan Videnov (1991–1996)
- Georgi Parvanov (1996–2001)
- Sergei Stanishev (2001–present)
- "Столетницата избра Бриго за София" (in Bulgarian). Dnes.bg. 2007-09-01. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- 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.
- "История" (in Bulgarian). Българска социалистическа партия. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- 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.
- "500 000 Bulgarians are members of parties".
- "The Beneficiaries of Saddam's Oil Vouchers: The List of 270". The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). January 29, 2004.
- "Iraq: Report That Hussein Bribed Foreign Leaders Sparks Denials, Calls For Investigations". rferl.org. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- Bulgarians protests over media magnate as security chief, Reuters, June 14, 2013
- Official website (Bulgarian)