Sofia, 5 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Nineteen deputies of Bulgaria's ruling Socialist party demanded today the resignation of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov and the formation of a new Cabinet.
In an open letter published today in the Socialist party's "Duma" newspaper, the deputies called on Zhan Videnov to step down following the party's defeat in Sunday's run-off presidential elections.
Opposition candidate Petar Stoyanov won on Sunday just over 60 percent of the vote against 40 percent for Socialist Party candidate Ivan Marazov.
In their letter, the deputies said the government's resignation and the formation of a new Cabinet would give the Socialist Party a "last chance" to remain in power until legislative elections due in 1998.
The letter called also for an alternative to the government's economic policy. Bulgaria is experiencing an economic crisis with the national currency plummeting, annual inflation forecast at 240 percent and a large segmeent of the population living below the poverty level.
Signatories of the letter included former party chairman Alexander Lilov, deputy chairman Yanaki Stoilov and other prominent party members.
Late Sunday, Videnov said he would ask his party for a confidence vote but he refused to resign. A Socialist party leadership plenum is set for November 11.