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Bulgaria: Videnov Survives Party Confidence Vote

Sofia, 12 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's Prime Minister Zhan Videnov today survived a vote of confidence by the leadership of his governing Bulgarian Socialist Party. The decision of the party leadership came after a closed, 20-hour overnight session.

The Associated Press news agency reports that of 158 delegatescomprising members of the Party's leadership and Socialist deputies in Parliament, 87 supported Videnov, 69 voted against him and two abstained. Videnov had asked for the confidence vote after an influential group of party leaders called for his resignation following opposition candidate Petar Stoyanov's election as president earlier this month.

Videnov is reported to have asked the party to support the introduction of a so-called "currency board" for Bulgaria. A mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had recommended the currency board to help stabilize Bulgaria's currency and restore confidence in the banking system. The board would virtually replace Bulgaria's Central Bank.

Videnov is also reported to have called for a Party Congress as early as next month. Videnov is next expected to face a confidence vote in Parliament, where the BSP holds an absolute majority.