(now socialists) dragged on for months. Agreement was finally reached on issues such as the availability of newsprint for all newspapers, access to national radio and television by the opposition, the basic principles of a future pluralistic, democratic system of government, and the procedures for holding elections for a Grand National Assembly.
The first task of the assembly was to enact a new constitution for Bulgaria. The elections were held on June 10, 1990; June 17, 1990, was reserved for the runoff elections. The elections were free for the first time since 1946. The Socialist party, thanks to its successful use of the media, received 47.15 percent of the total votes cast, a surprisingly large percentage. This vote came largely from the rural areas where the socialists were strong. The vote gave the socialists 211 seats in the 400- seat parliament. Thirty-nine other parties shared the rest of the votes, but only three of them received a meaningful number of deputies. The Union of Democratic Forces gained 144 seats; the Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom received twenty-three. The Agrarian Union (seeAgrarian Union) totally discredited during the communist era, received only sixteen mandates.
The most vocal critics of the results were the students of Sofia University who went on strike. They charged that the communists maintained a monopoly over the media and other means of communications and that they were intent on covering up their crimes. The students demanded that Petar Mladenov, the new prime minister, resign. Mladenov bowed to the demand and gave up the premiership. On August 1, the socialists agreed to the election of Zhelev as president of Bulgaria.
On August 12, the Socialist party's headquarters--formerly the headquarters of the Communist party--in Sofia were set on fire by demonstrators. The protesters also forced the removal of the embalmed corps of Georgy Dimitrov from its mausoleum erected in Skanderbeu square in the center of Sofia. President Zhelev worked hard to lessen tensions and he succeeded to some extent. In October 1991, new elections were held. The Union of Democratic Forces came out the strongest party with 110 parliamentary deputies; the Socialist party received 106 mandates; and the Agrarian Union and the Movement for Rights and Freedom shared the rest.
Perry Duncan M., "Bulgaria: A New Constitution and Free Elections," Radio Free Europe Research Reports 1.1 ( January 3, 1992), pp. 78-82.
Yugov, Anton (1904- ). Yugov joined the Bulgarian Communist party when he was thirty-four years old. In 1944, he was named minister of the interior in the Fatherland Front government (see Fatherland Front), and he proved himself as ruthless a pursuer of the party's instructions as any communist leader in Eastern Europe. As a local communist leader, however, Yugov fell out of grace following the Traicho Kostov trial (see Kostov, Traicho). Shortly afterward he made it back and was appointed deputy prime minister. In 1950-1951, he was made minister of industry, and the following year he was appointed to head the ministry responsible for the rapid development