A moving farewell
Adelina Marini, November 30, 2009
In a speech that lasted more than 40 minutes and that ended with tears, the leader of the Bulgarian liberal party NDSV (National Movement for Stability and Progress) Simeon Saxecobourggotta refused even the place of an Honorable leader of the yellow party by announcing that "something will happen that I have expected for a long time - to pass the baton the the younger. This I accept peacefully because for the past 9 years the Movement has managed in building and upbringing a whole new generation of Bulgarian politicians who are equal to their European colleagues by their professional virtues". He recalled that he had resigned right after the general elections this summer because the leader is responsible to his voters. He also assured that he would never leave the project NDSV.
To try to settle the constant appeals of the party members and supporters to keep his leadership, Simeon Saxecobourggotta reminded that the NDSV had proved that it was not a leader party and added: "Here it seems, we are inclined to bet on only 1 person and expect him to solve all of our problems".
Mr. Saxecobourggotta, applauded many times during his speech, also warned that it was a very important time for the Movement because there was a return of the bipolar model and the scandals, discredits and the dossiers were counter productive. "Indeed, it would be regretful if in such a situation the NDSV prefers to stay aside as an observer and allows this focus in our political life to prevail because it can turn into very destructive for the whole society", Saxecobourggotta added.
He recalled the hard co-existence of the yellow party in the tripartite coalition which was due to the fact that the NDSV and the Bulgarian socialists had different political views about the direction of governance and the approach in the governing programme. He also agreed that the participation in the coalition was not the problem but the lack of communication with the regional structures of the party, to which "we failed to explain that GERB (the party of the current prime minister Boyko Borisov) is not the reserve party of the tsar. We did not take into account that in a fragile democracy as ours the society is pliable to any kind of speculations".
According to Simeon II for years we could have had 1 highway if the NDSV had managed to defend the project instead of leaving it to the pre-election campaign that turned it into the corruption deal of the century.
The retired leader of the NDSV called upon the popular faces of the party to get identified with the Movement and not be left to wait for a better situation for the NDSV. In this regard he criticised the lack of a good media policy and internal party discipline that let many of the popular personalities in the party to speak as independent experts.
He also advised the future leader of the party to define 1 clear and long-term goal for Bulgaria and to try and define the place of our country in the EU for a decade ahead, as well as to avoid concentrating into the internal party issues. "We should always remember that the party is the instrument, the means to achieve social missions, to serve to the people and it is not a an end in itself".
Not only him but the four candidates for the leadership of the party spoke about the development of ecological production in Bulgaria. Simeon Saxecobourggotta even welcomed the idea of the government to work of a Green Bulgaria. "The time has come the eco-policies to get into the centre of attention", the former leaders concluded.
He did not ignore the scandals surrounding the properties that were returned to his family by naming these scandals "slanders". He said that this was a private legal matter, deliberately turned into a political intrigue. Mr. Saxecobourggotta even asked whether almost 2 mn people in Bulgaria who also had their properties returned after the fall of the Berlin wall, watching what was going on with him. In this regard he said that since he was not longer a party leader he had the right to react to those slanders the way he found best.
Before the elections for a new chairman of the NDSV, the four candidates presented their views. The candidates are Hristina Hristova (former minister of labour and social affairs), Bilyana Raeva (former ALDE MEP), Nikolay Vassilev (former minister of administration) and Iliya Lingorski. Months before the congress the four candidates held campaigns all over the country to present their programmes. All of them declared as a main priority the return of confidence towards the party and one of the possible candidates Nikolay Vassilev, after admitting that he was impulsive and stubborn and bared the negatives of the former government, announced that the NDSV should return the voters it lost to GERB (the current ruling party). He also said that the most natural partners of the yellow party are not those in the tripartite coalition with which the NDSV participated in the previous government.