Bulgarian body bans coalition's video broadcast

Central Election Commission pulls Turkish-language broadcast days before voters go to the polls

Bulgarian body bans coalition's video broadcast

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Turkish-language campaign video in Bulgaria has been pulled by the country’s electoral watchdog just days before a general election.

The video clip had been produced by the Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance (DOST) coalition which campaigns on behalf of the country’s large Turkish and Muslim minorities.

Wednesday's decision was delivered in a statement by Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission. The Bulgarian electorate will go to the polls on Sunday.

DOST was founded by Lyutvi Mestan in 2016; it is campaigning ahead of Sunday’s early election, called after the November 2016 resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

‘Dost’ means ‘close friend’ in Turkish.

As a former Ottoman territory, Bulgaria has a large Turkish minority of about 10 percent, according to official census figures.

Most members of DOST are mostly ethnic Turks or Muslims.

The banned video clip focused on assimilation policies forced on Muslims and Turks in Bulgaria during the country’s Communist era.

The Central Election Commission’s ruling came after complaints from the far-right United Patriots Coalition. It claimed the law only permitted the use of the Bulgarian language in campaign materials.

It is not the first time DOST material has been restricted by the electoral body.

The commission also imposed an unspecified fine on DOST.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Mart 2017, 14:55