ABV Congress Elects New Leader, Readies Party for Elections

ABV Congress Elects New Leader, Readies Party for Elections

Sofia, January 15 (BTA) - A congress of the left-wing ABV Party on Sunday elected a new leader and discussed the party's preparations for the early parliamentary elections.

"We declare a will for a change in this country, starting from ourselves," said ABV Chairman Georgi Purvanov, speaking at the opening of the second session of the party's Second Congress at Sofia's National Palace of Culture.

Shortly before the congress, Purvanov, who was Bulgaria's President between 2002 and 2012, and another two of the most readily recognizable members of the leadership: Roumen Petkov and Ivailo Kalfin, said they were withdrawing from the day-to-day management of ABV but were not leaving politics.

On Sunday, Purvanov said that the incumbent ABV leadership is taking a step back and is giving the party a chance to elect a leadership unencumbered by politics.

He said he has personal reasons to withdraw, but also a clear political motivation. "What matters most is that after 25 years in politics I can say that we have entered a different political age," Purvanov said, adding that he will continue to help ABV.

In an open ballot, Konstantin Prodanov was elected Chairman of the Party. Prodanov is into investment management and during the last year of Purvanov's presidency served as his economic and financial adviser.

Purvanov pointed out that the results of the November 2016 presidential elections and national referendum showed a desire for change, and in the first place for a replacement of the political elite.

"An in-depth change of the political model is needed," he said. In his words, ABV has a mission "to struggle against the mediocrity of the bipolar model in Bulgarian politics, against the political cartel of the large parties."

"We in ABV have a potential to propose a new reading of the Left," Purvanov argued. He warned that ABV "should not pose as an academic club."

According to Purvanov, the congress should mandate the leadership to negotiate actively with like-minded parties and, on this basis, a decision should be made on participation in the early elections.

Source: Sofia