MRF and Peevski with new development initiatives

The party presents a plan to tackle demographic crisis and promote quality education; supports public funding for political organisations

Delyan Peevski

In the coming weeks, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski and other MPs of the party are to unveil new initiatives to facilitate the country’s development, MRF legislator Yordan Tsonev recently told the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR). Tsonev stressed that the whole party was the driving force behind the programme, but added that Peevski was very active in its drafting.

“Peevski decided that he will be involved in its realisation as well and that is why he is in parliament, working, even though he also continues to work with his constituents as ever. The presence of Mr Delyan Peevski in parliament is related to our decision following the elections to put in motion the programme that we have been preparing for two years. And by ‘put in motion’ I do not mean dictating public policies because we, after all, are not the ruling party,” Tsonev noted. “It means launching initiatives to promote the programme, starting discussions. As you can see, our first two initiatives have caused a political storm. We are going to press ahead with these initiatives next week. We are going to present an element of our programme almost every week, comment on it, in the form of proposals and thus try to encourage the debate that is necessary for identifying priorities that will accelerate development. Consensus priorities – not of the MRF, GERB or BSP – but common priorities for the country such as tackling the demographic crisis, a strong focus on education with a breakdown of investments in specific areas, and a strong focus on high technologies and green economy. When such priorities are embraced by all political parties and pursued by whoever is in power, things will start to come along,” Tsonev is confident. The lawmaker also touched on the subsidy system for parties and the MRF’s legislative proposals.

“Our priority is for (the subsidy) to stay at BGN 11 (per vote won). It has always been that way. In all those years since the subsidy was introduced, the MRF has been in favour of public funding for political parties, i.e. from the public budget, so as not to risk the dependencies that the Bulgarian society started talking about just in the past week,” the MRF lawmaker noted.

“When we argued that reducing public funding to the point of virtual elimination, as a BGN 1 subsidy per vote would be, we were blasted by political opponents, media and analysts as defending public funding. Well, if public funding is not what everyone wants, let us restore (not introduce because it existed before) the parties’ right to receive donations by commercial enterprises and physical persons,” he said in the interview.

Tsonev further commented on how the MRF envisions the set-up for getting financing from commercial enterprises and its strict regulation: “We do not have such an idea at the ready because that is not our first wish. The lawmakers who proposed holding a referendum on the BGN 1 per vote, knowing that people would vote, should have outlined a plan for how political parties would be financed then.” Tsonev says that if the Bulgarian people decide that they want a BGN 1 subsidy per vote after all, a strategy for political parties to avoid economic dependencies should be devised.

“It is impossible to create a strategy in three days that will be acceptable to all political parties and the Bulgarian public. Such a strategy can be created in the event that the relevant law is repealed and a one-month consultation period is set.”

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