The Failure to Restore the Monarchy in Post-Communist Bulgaria

By Vassilev, Rossen | Romanian Journal of Political Science, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

The Failure to Restore the Monarchy in Post-Communist Bulgaria


Vassilev, Rossen, Romanian Journal of Political Science


Introduction

Despite sharp elite disagreements about the timing and nature of the constituent process, Bulgaria was the first country in post-Communist Europe to reach a constitutional settlement, setting this southeast European nation on a rocky course of political and economic reforms. Under its new constitution, adopted on 12 July 1991, Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic in which all legislative power is vested in a unicameral National Assembly, consisting of 240 deputies elected for four years by universal adult suffrage. The President of the Republic is a largely ceremonial head of state who is directly elected by the voters to a five-year term and can serve only two consecutive terms in office. The Council of Ministers, the highest organ of the executive branch, is approved by and responsible to the National Assembly. The Council is headed by a Prime Minister elected by the legislative majority. The judiciary is constitutionally independent from the executive and legislative branches of government. Its top bodies are a Supreme Court, the highest court of appeals in the country, and a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review.

But the adoption of a new constitution was accompanied by serious political opposition and heated controversy. There was strong resistance by many members of the anti-Communist minority in the constituent Grand National Assembly (GNA), who did not want the new fundamental law to be shaped by what they called the "temporary majority" of the ex-Communist Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). They called for early dissolution of the constitution-writing Assembly popularly elected in June 1990 and the holding of a new GNA election. The monarchists within the oppositional and fervently anti-Communist Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) alliance rejected the new basic charter because it retained the republican form of government, while they preferred a return to the Turnovo Constitution of 1879, which had declared Bulgaria a constitutional kingdom. They believed that new elections could produce a constituent Assembly more favorable to the idea of reinstating the monarchy, which had been abolished in 1946.

However, the two largest SDS member parties, the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party (BSDP) and the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BZNS)-Nikola Petkov, announced the formation of a splinter faction, the SDS-Center, which opposed the attempts of the "rightist and monarchist forces" to divert the GNA from its constitutional work. (1) The new coalition was particularly critical of "the emerging monarchist right wing" in the SDS (2), declaring that "it would be a crime to demand the dissolving of parliament before it has adopted the constitution (3)." The SDS-Center leaders were convinced that the parties calling for the dissolution of the GNA before the adoption of the new constitution were directly manipulated by the Madrid-based King Simeon II of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and that their ultimate goal was the restoration of the monarchy and the enthronement of the exiled monarch. Other centrist SDS member parties formed another splinter group, the SDS-Liberals, which declared its support for the pro-republican stand of the SDS-Center. The anti-Communist opposition had in effect become split between opposing factions with conflicting views about the nature of the new constitution and whether Bulgaria should have a republican or monarchical form of government (4). The republican-versus-monarchist division added a major new dimension to the country's ideological cleavages and deep partisan animosities.

The controversial attempt by radical SDS deputies to disrupt the constituent work of the GNA-first by a parliamentary walkout and then by a last-minute hunger strike-failed, but the divisive republic-versus-monarchy issue remained open-ended for a long time. Some 81 of the 400 GNA deputies did not vote in favor of the 1991 basic law, nor was it subsequently approved in any national referendum. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Failure to Restore the Monarchy in Post-Communist Bulgaria
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.