Green Party of Bulgaria
|Green Party of Bulgaria|
|International affiliation||European Green Party|
|Politics of Bulgaria
- This article is about the authentic Bulgarian Green Party, the first ever established democratic party in Bulgaria.
The Green Party is a centre-left political party. It was founded in 1989 in Sofia as the Green Party of Bulgaria. The initiator for the establishment of the party and its long-time chairman was Alexander Karakachanov.
In 1997, at the 38th National Assembly, the Green Party ran "The law repealing the banking secrecy for people with bad credits", better known as "The law for the credit millionaires". The uniqueness of this law is that it is the only document where are stated, black on white, the names of over three thousand individuals and legal entities who practically robbed the banking system. That's over one billion six hundred million dollars. Pressed by the law, part of the debtors returned to thе state 547 billion non-dominated levs or 547 million in present value. There is no other party, like the Green Party, that contributed so tangible to the society.
In July 2010, the Green Party through the national citizens' initiative, draft to the National Assembly "The law for restoring the swapped forests and lands". Its goal is the reversal of these swaps at the seaside and mountain resorts, and return the land and the forest area of over 70,000 hectares at cost about 6 billion levs to the state. All these lands were practically given almost for free to certain individuals. The ruling majority of GERB, in 41 National Assembly, in complete violation of the Constitution, did not allowed to plenary meeting the proposed bill and thus protected the swaps.
Not until September 2014, The European Commission has ordered Bulgaria to cancel part of the agreements for swaps of forest lands or reclaim the state aid provided to a number of companies. According to the Commission, there is a case of infringement of competition rules of the European Union. These are property swaps that took place in the period from January 2007 to January 2009. The Commission launched a thorough investigation on them in mid-2011 based on received complaints from the Green Party. The Commission concludes that the practice of swapping private forest estates with state-owned property at prices that are not updated regularly and are not in line with the market situation is incompatible with EU rules on state aid.
The Green Party was established on December 28, 1989 by Alexander Karakachanov and activists of the largest dissident movement "Ecoglastnost" under the name of The Green Party in Bulgaria and recorded in court in 1990 under the new Law on Political Parties. Right after its formation, the Green party became a part of the Union of the Democratic forces in Bulgaria (UDF), which was then a broad coalition of anti-totalitarian political parties and clubs. In the 7th Grand National Assembly the Green Party has 17 members of parliament and also is represented by two MPs in the 38th ordinary National Assembly.
The Green Party is the initiator and the submitter of the official proposal for the accession of Bulgaria into the European Union in the 7th Grand National Assembly.
The Green Party laid foundations for the new legislation for protection of the environment at the beginning of the transition to democracy. The ideology of the party is based on the concept of sustainable development. The Green Party has initiated many environmental, anti-corruption and social initiatives - such as shale gas protests, protests against the GMOs, protests to protect Vitosha Mountain against building in the protected areas along the Black Sea coast such as Irakli and Karadere, and many others. The party is well known for its legislative initiatives to fight corruption, i.e. "The law for the credit millionaires", "The law for examining the assets of the officials", "The law for restoring the swapped forests and lands". Green Party stands at firm positions against Bulgaria's participation in military blocs (NATO) and foreign military missions. It is a founding member of the European Green Party.
Divisions during year 2000
Following the schism in the Congress of the Green Party in October 2000, a party faction has cleaved and established a new party under the name Party of the Greens. President of the new Party of the Greens is Hristo Portochanov, who promised to the mavericks, former members of the Green Party, great material and political benefits. In the very first year, during the general elections in 2001, Portochanov lost interest and left the party. Now this party along with other green formations established later, exist only on paper and their only goal is to confuse the voters during elections. The Greens for example, who where founded in 2008, claim to be the "original" green party although they are the youngest green formation with ideology based on separating the green political space in Bulgaria. They have written lots of denunciations for the genuine Green party of Bulgaria, sabotaged its website and Wikipedia page and publish falsehoods all over the media. This has reflected on the voters who have felt confused of so many green parties who do not work together. The Green Party has sent lots of letters and invites for collaboration but the replies were always no.
A small party called Green Bulgaria merged into the Green Party in 2008 The Green Party was renamed to The Green Party - Bulgarian greens where Stoyan Dinkov was the chairman of the Political Council(2008-2009). President after the merger is Alexander Karakachanov and the vice-president is Trifon Grudev from the former "Green Bulgaria".  Only a year later, it is clear that there are compelling fundamental differences and representatives of the former Green Bulgaria party leaved. The name has changed again to The Green Party.
Participation in elections
Since its establishment the party rarely comes alone in elections but in coalition with left-wing and centre-left forces (never right-wing):
- 1989 - Founding member of the coalition UDF (a broad anti-totalitarian coalition). The Green Party has 17 MPs in the elections for the 7th Grand National Assembly.
- 1991, elections for the 36th National Assembly - in coalition with Clubs for Democracy UDF liberals, won 2.81 percent and no elected representatives.
- 1994, elections for the 37th National Assembly - in coalition DAR, won 3.84%.
- 1997, elections for the 38th National Assembly - in coalition ONS, rank 2 MPs
- 2005, elections for the 40th National Assembly - BSP-dominated Coalition for Bulgaria -no MPs.
- 2007, single party ballot-paper list elections for Bulgarian representatives in the European Parliament - including representatives of environmental organizations and civil society, winning 9976 votes or 0.51 percent of votes 
- 2014, single party ballot-paper list elections for Bulgarian representatives in the European Parliament - winning almost 9000 votes, which represents 0.4% percent of the votes.
In 2005 the Green Party participated in the elections for the National Assembly under the "Coalition for Bulgaria" known as the "Triple Coalition". The Green Party had no elected representatives. The Green Party left the "Triple Coalition" before the end of the term due to fundamental disagreements regarding the Coalition’s policy. The main reasons were the neoliberal policies and unequal extortionate swaps of state forests made by the ruling Coalition. Green Party held a number of protests against these actions of the government and submitted "The law for restoring the swapped forests and lands".
On presidential election . At the same time local elections were held and the party reach best results among all green parties. The best result it has registered is in the municipality of Blagoevgrad where it won 8.4 percent and has 6 MPs in the local parliament.
Participation in power
The Green Party is part of the UDF during the office of Philip Dimitrov in 1991 - 1992. During this time the chairman Alexander Karakachanov was supported by the UDF and elected as the mayor of Sofia.
In the period 2005 - 2009 The Green Party is part of the ruling coalition - Coalition for Bulgaria, better known as the Triple Coalition, because it was supported by two other parties in parliament - MRF and NMSS. The Green Party received the position of the deputy minister in Stanishev government. Dimitar Bongalov, vice-chairman of the Green Party, was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice in charge of prisons, execution of punishments and supervising Chief Directorate "Execution of Punishments" at the Ministry of Justice. In 2007 the trust of the party was taken down from Bongalov who resigned as deputy chairman of the party, and later as deputy Minister.  He was replaced by Ilonka Ivancheva-Raychinova again from the quota of the Green Party.  Green Party left the Coalition for Bulgaria before the end of the government of Stanishev for principal disagreements with his policies.
- Company file № 575/1990 the Sofia City Court, Company Division, register 10, lot 62, Volume 2, p. 66
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- [http: //rezultati.cikep2009.eu/results/rik_00.html "Final data for the country"]. CEC. 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
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- Official web site
- European Green Party
- Федерация на младите зелени
- Global Greens
- Истини/Неистини за Зелена партия