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Bulgaria: Anti-Communist Parties Unite On Elections

Sofia, 6 March 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgaria's top anti-communist parities yesterday signed an agreement for a joint list of candidates in the country's April 19 parliamentary elections.

Both the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) and the "People's Union" signed the agreement. UDF Leader Ivan Kostov said that the mostly ethnic-Turkish "Movement for Rights and Freedoms" (MRF) did not sign the agreement today. But our correspondent in Sofia quotes Kostov as saying that he expects the MRF to sign today.

The UDF is the strongest party going into the elections, but an alliance with other anti-communist forces would increase their chances of controlling a two-thirds majority in parliament. Such a majority is needed to pass constitutional amendments sought by the anti-communists. Bulgaria's constitution was adopted by a majority of former communists in the Socialist Party in 1991.