Prosecutor's Office should take action to dissolve the Vazrajdane Party
Petition to the Prosecutor's Office by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
Signatories are also well-known public figures
An online form gathers broader support
The activities of the Vazrajdane Party (meaning "Revival") and its leader Kostadin Kostadinov aim to destroy the democratic legal order in Bulgaria. This is written in a petition to the acting Chief Prosecutor Borislav Sarafov. Vazrajdane is increasingly making open calls for violence and using illegal means to achieve its political goals. The petition lists a number of specific cases in which the party has flagrantly violated the Political Parties Act and the Constitution, and Vazrazhdane activists, including its leader, have frequently used or incited violence.
The actions of the nationalist formation around the measures against the COVID crisis and the attempts to replace the will of the sovereign with the interests of a party by illegal means are described in detail. Their actions in relation to the position they take on Russia's war with Ukraine, in which there have been civilian casualties, are also outlined. Vazrajdane systematically uses anti-Semitism, inciting hatred towards refugees, Roma minorities, and members of the LGBTI community. The targets of their attacks are individual citizens, state institutions, and even staff of a bar in the centre of the capital city of Sofia. Supporters of nationalism under the flags of Vazrajdane thwarted a cinema screening of a European film in Sofia and Varna, with the police failing to guarantee the right to peaceful assembly of citizens. Cases of harassment of journalists and violations of the right to freedom of expression have also been described.
"Expressing opposing views on public policy issues is a normal process in a democratic state," the petition says. "But the use of unlawful means to achieve political ends, including the use and incitement to violence, cannot enjoy the constitutional and legal protection of freedom of expression and freedom of association in a democratic society."
When the party uses or calls for violence and aims to abolish the established democratic model of public authority and replace it with a government that is repressive in nature, the state is obliged to take measures to restrain the party.
The petition is addressed to the Acting Attorney General, who may take action to dissolve the party and declare its activities unconstitutional. The Supreme Bar Council and the Ombudsman, who play an important role in protecting the fundamental rights of citizens, have also been addressed. Significant public figures, civic activists and proven professionals in various fields are also signatories. A list of their names can be found in the attached file.
The full text of the petition is available in Bulgarian here.
The online petition is organised here.