Extreme Nationalist Party Enters Bulgarian Parliament

21 July 2005

Coalition Ataka (Attack) has won 21 seats in the 240-member Bulgarian Parliament after the parliamentary elections held on June 25, 2005. Formed about two months prior to the elections, as a coalition of a number of non-parliamentary political formations with pronounced nationalistic ideology, Coalition Ataka engaged in propaganda of extreme nationalism and racism during the election campaign. The sharpest edge of Ataka's public statements has been targeted at Bulgarian Roma. According to Bulgarian media, at a rally in Sofia, on June 21, 2005, the Coalition leaders called for the "internment of the Gypsies in camps", for "de-Gypsyisation" and "de-Turkisation" of Bulgaria. The rhetoric of the Coalition was denounced as "fascist" and "xenophobic" by leaders of the mainstream political parties and media.

Volen Siderov, the Coalition's leader, is a Bulgarian journalist, known for his anti-Semitic and anti-Romani articles, blaming minorities for all hardship facing Bulgarian society since 1989. He is also the author of two anti-Semitic books "The Boomerang of Evil" and "Bulgarophobes".

Propaganda of or incitement to racial or national hatred and discrimination is prohibited under Bulgarian Criminal Code. The Bulgarian Protection against Discrimination Act also prohibits incitement to racial discrimination.



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