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Bulgaria: PM Nominee Cancels Meeting With President


Sofia, 31 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's Socialist Prime Minister-designate Nikolai Dobrev has cancelled a meeting with the country's president shortly after saying he planned to ask the president to appoint the country's new cabinet.

Dobrev told Reuters he has cancelled the meeting with President Petar Stoyanov in order to give the ruling Socialist Party time for further talks.

Earlier today, Dobrev told Reuters he would be willing to give up his mandate to form a government for the sake of consensus between warring political factions. The insistence of the Socialists on forming a new government has sparked 26 days of mass protests in the country.

The Socialist party leadership met today to discuss the situation after Dobrev proposed giving up his mandate. Socialist leader Georgi Parvanov told Reuters after the meeting that preparations for the formation of a new cabinet were going according to plan.

Under the constitution Dobrev has until Tuesday to present his cabinet.

Meanwhile anti-Socialist protests continued across the country. Hundreds of striking miners from Pernik, some 20 kms southwest of the capital, today protested in front of the Energy Ministry in Sofia. The main road to the Greek border remained blocked for the third consecutive day and protesters in Plovdiv, the country's second largest city, threatened to block the main road to Turkey. Public transport in Plovdiv and port activities in Burgas on the Black Sea were affected by the strike, as well as schools, hospitals and factories around the country.
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