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Politik

02.07.2020  
How to dismantle a democracy: the case of Bulgaria

Not only fascistic xenophobes are capable of killing democracy.
Semi-literate macho males bereft of any...

Evgenii Dainov *
https://www.opendemocracy.net/

After years of prevarication on the part of those who should know better, it has finally become common knowledge that democracy is being strangled in Hungary and Poland. What is less known is that democracy and the rule of law have been effectively dismantled in another EU member state, Bulgaria, under the rule of Europe’s longest-serving populist leader, Lieutenant General Boyko Borisov.
Unlike other European ‘strong men’, Borisov is not fascistic, antisemitic or xenophobic. Unlike other macho leaders in the region, he does not even have a problem with gay people. This makes him, I’ve been told by EU officials, somehow “safe” when it comes to democracy.
But it is not only fascistic xenophobes who are capable of killing democracy. This task can be very efficiently handled by semi-literate macho males bereft of any anti-democratic ideology.
A former policeman and member of the Communist Party between 1979 and 1991, in the 1990s Borisov jumped ship and joined one of the euphemistically named “strong-arm groups”, setting up a moderately successful “security company” in the process.
Failing to make a spectacular career in “security”, in 2001 he jumped ship again and became Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior. Over the next few years, he positioned himself as “poacher-turned-gamekeeper” and on the strength of this he won the 2009 elections, becoming Prime Minister a year before Victor Orban took over in Hungary.


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