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Bulgaria: Opposition Suggests Return Of Exiled King

Sofia, 10 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's President Petar Stoyanov is expected to appoint a caretaker cabinet this week, and while most expect the interim government to be led by Sofia's mayor, Stefan Sofianski, RFE/RL's correspondent in Sofia reports some opposition parties suggest the position be offered to exiled Bulgarian King Simeon.

RFE/RL's Sofia correspondent reports the request to bring back exiled King Simeon was proposed by the small Ecoglasnost party at a party meeting over the weekend. Ecoglasnost is one of the founding members of the main opposition party, the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF). Sofia Mayor Sofianski is a UDF member.

Parliament member Evgent Michailov told RFE/RL that King Simeon should be invited back to Bulgaria by the UDF, but Michailov denies press reports that the proposal specified King Simeon should be invited as a prime minister. However, Michailov did not exclude such a possiblity.

King Simeon's press office in Sofia was not available for immediate comment, but in an interview last month, he expressed a desire to return to Bulgaria if the people gave him "a clear four-year mandate" to lead the country out of crisis.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria's second-largest opposition party says it will return today a mandate from President Stoyanov to form a new government. The Bulgarian Socialist Party and the UDF have already returned the mandate as part of an agreement to hold early elections in April. Stoyanov brokered the agreement last week to end a month of street protests against Socialist rule.