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04/07/22

Pro-, Anti-government Demonstrations in Sofia: Day Two

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A large group of people gathered around Parliament’s building Wednesday evening to express their support for Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s Government, which was ousted by Parliament’s approval of a no-confidence motion, submitted by GERB-UDF. Ministers and MPs from the outgoing coalition went out to greet their supporters, including Prime Miniser Petkov and Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev, who addressed the crowd with a loudspeaker.
Protesters gathered around the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia as well. One rally was organized by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) to demand the Government’s resignation. Another anti-Government rally was held there by supporters of the Vazrazhdane party. MRF leader Mustafa Karadayi, MP Delyan Peevski and Kurdzhali Mayor Hassan Azis mingled with their supporters, who were celebrating the toppling of Petkov’s Cabinet.
The legislature debated on the no-confidence motion on Tuesday amid widespread protests for and against the Government.
On Wednesday afternoon, there was also a protest of the transport sector with demands for lower fuel prices. Magdalena Miltenova of the Confederation of Bus Carriers told BTA that their protest is not political, but purely economy-based and demands lower fuel prices. 
Police presence in the area was heavy and Parliament’s building is fenced off with crowd control barriers.
The Interior Ministry told BTA later in the evening that no incidents were reported during the pro- and anti-government demonstrations and there were no reports of tension escalations. 
Shortly after Parliament voted to oust the Government, many anti-government protestors headed towards the dozens of buses parked nearby that brought them from regions like Shumen, Razgrad, Kurdzhali, Haskovo and Smolyan, from which the MRF gets most of their electoral support. 
Interior Minister Rashkov said that his Ministry had received alerts about provocations being planned, but has taken all necessary measures. 

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