site.btaUPDATED GERB Not Supportive of Changing Bulgaria's National Holiday, MRF Still Undecided
GERB is not going to back a proposed change of the Bulgarian national holiday to May 24, the Day of Slav Letters and Bulgarian Culture. This transpired from remarks by GERB leader Boyko Borissov for the press in Parliament. "It is not going to be in the Constitution. We are not going to back it," he said.
Changing the national holiday to May 24 from March 3, which is the day of signing the Treaty of San Stefano in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) is among the proposed changes to the Constitution. On July 28, 2023, GERB-UDF, Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms submitted a joined bill of amendments to the Constitution undersigned by 166 MPs in the 240-seat legislature.
Borissov now argues that May 24 is too big a holiday to become an arena for divisions. "It is not because we don't like May 24 but because all of them - March 3, May 24 and the Unification Day [on September 6] - are too big to become an arena for fighting, division and politicking," he explained.
Even before that, GERB had said that CC-DB's idea to make May 24 Bulgaria's National Day distracted attention from the proposed changes in the judiciary, which are at the core of the proposed constitutional changes.
The Socialists in Parliament, as well as the nationalist Vazrazhdane party are vehement opponents of the National Day shift - as is President Rumen Radev.
Asked whether or not his party backs the change of the national holiday, Mp Delyan Peevski of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms said that they will make a decision between the first and second reading of the revisions. "We saw GERB stepping back and you are aware where things are headed: without their votes, we cannot do that [change] and it is unlikely to happen. Even if we stick to the idea, it cannot happen without GERB and it will likely remain as is," said Peevski.