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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 18, 1989


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    Note from the Romanian Embassy in Sofia to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding plans for formulation of a new constitution and the reorganization of the party structure in Bulgaria, including an active role for parliament and an investigation of the use of funds by Todor Zhivkov’s family
    "Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Sofia to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," November 18, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Sofia/1989, vol. 3, pp. 204-205. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu
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18 November 1989, 01:00 pm

[Foreign Affairs] Minister, Cde. Ioan Stoian,

Regarding the events in Bulgaria, we would like to send the following information:

1. At the session of the Popular Assembly, during the discussion regarding the election of the [new] President of the Council of State, it has been suggested that, at least for the time being, it is necessary to have the same person hold both the position of the Secretary General of the party and the chief of state. The issue will be again debated during the formulation of the new Constitution, [a project for the completion of which] a new committee has been created. During the discussions it was stressed that, all measures that will be taken, should be in support of the consolidation and for the development of Socialist society, and that this objective cannot be reached without the progressive nature of the Communist Party.

Regarding this, one of the speakers declared that members of the CC of the CPB have suggested that he create a Socialist Party in Bulgaria. Moreover, it has been suggested that even the illegal [political] organizations that are operating today in Bulgaria have been created under the guidance or, at the very least, tacit approval of members of the Bulgarian leadership.

2. The way the Council of Ministers has been organized and [the way] it's holding its working meetings has been criticized. [This] is especially [true] for the economic field. It was shown [during the discussions at the Assembly] that the organization of associations specific to certain fields has not given the desired results; rather they have continued the practice of the previous ministries. As a result the associations have been dissolved and some ministries have been reorganized: Finance, Domestic Trade, Industry and Technology, Construction, Architecture and Urban Planning, State Committee for the Protection of the Environment. The number of vice prime-ministers grew from three to six. The economic ministries will work directly with business or business associations that will be formed of their own accord.

3. During the discussions, Petar Mladenov and other speakers underlined that, until now, the role of the Parliament had been constantly neglected. The Constitution has been constantly violated, problems that fell under the aegis of the Parliament being always [discussed and] solved in the Politburo.

There were requests that, in the future, the parliament take an active role in the elaboration of the basic legislative norms, that it will exercise real control over the uses of executive power and the way laws are implemented.

4. The article in the penal code which said that persons who "through untruthful statements might create distrust towards the government or the actions taken by the government" has been rescinded. All incarcerations based on that article have been annulled.

5. During the session of the Popular Assembly, as well as at the [popular] demonstration that followed [it], vehement criticism, sometimes libel, has been addressed to Todor Zhivkov.

There was a proposal that a special committee be formed which will investigate how funds were used by members of his [Zhivkov's] family. Regarding this proposal and others like it, the Assembly will render a decision during its next session.

(ss)[Ambassador] Vasile Pungan