Mustafa Karadayi re-elected as president of MRF

Mustafa Karadayi was elected to another term as president of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) during the party's annual conference, which was held online for the first time ever this past Saturday.

“Your decision means I have a responsibility to continue my dedicated work in order to justify your choice every single day,” the MRF leader said, thanking the party members for their trust.  

“We live in difficult and unpredictable times. No element of our lives will stay the same or hold the same meaning. This coronavirus crisis altered political realities, replaced political entities, exposed deficiencies in public institutions, damaged the economy, seemingly mixed corporate with public interests, and quickly turned citizens' health security into a top priority for all countries,” Ahmed Dogan, honorary chairman of the MRF, wrote in an address towards the party's 10th convention. His statement was read out loud by MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk.

Dogan believes that the shockwaves of all the changes triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic will be comparable to the consequences of climate change and of major armed conflicts.

“Never forget that in order for you to be equal to the rest of the political actors, you need to be at least a step ahead of them - but not more - in scanning, reimagining and reforming the world in which we live. If the others cannot bear being surpassed, we will be labelled as the common enemy. This imperative is true for every single organisation that forms as a way to fight the assimilation of its identity. Finding the optimal balance between who we are and how we want to be perceived in relation to the current political trends in society is the very art of politics,” said Dogan. He also joined the digital event live, congratulating the party's leadership for organising the conference.

A number of foreign leaders also took part in the forum.

Hakima el Haite, president of Liberal International, congratulated the MRF on the 30th anniversary from its establishment. According to her, the MRF could demonstrate to the entire continent the important role of Southeastern Europe in the integration process. Haite said that Bulgaria is expected to be a champion of democracy and stability. “We express our confidence that the country needs to be governed by parties who espouse the fundamental values of democracy. Our hope is that the MRF will act as a factor for peace, prosperity and democratic progress in the country,” Haite said.

Hans van Baalen, president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), noted that the MRF has a crucial role in the European Union. “We need a safe region and in that regard the MRF plays an important role. The MRF has a decisive role in domestic politics. I hope that you celebrate a great victory at the (upcoming) elections,” Baalen told the forum's attendees. Sir Graham Watson, the former leader of ALDE, said that someone needs to suggest to PM Boyko Borissov that Lukashenko's style is no longer en vogue, adding that the MRF has to gain ground in the upcoming general elections and wave the flag of liberal approaches and values.

Roman Jakic, president of the Liberal South East European Network (LIBSEEN), underscored the MRF's part in the battle with the ruling coalition over conducting election campaigns in a language different than Bulgarian.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also participated in the conference and offered his well-wishes to the MRF leadership. “Unity and solidarity are the key to success in any area - from political battles to efforts aimed at expanding rights and liberties. I believe that the MRF, which is a significant factor in Bulgarian democracy, will continue down its path with an even more comprehensive and unifying vision in this next period. Turkey will remain by your side, guided by its good neighbourly relations, friendship and alliance with Bulgaria. Through you, I would like to convey my love and respect to all our compatriots and to the whole nation of Bulgaria. I wish you good health,” Erdogan concluded.

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