Bulgarians have taken to the streets across the country to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and his cabinet.
The protests dubbed “Resignation at Christmas” were held in several major cities on Thursday, including in the capital Sofia, where two simultaneous rallies took place.
The two groups later merged and rallied outside the Cabinet office and parliament, demanding the resignation of Oresharski’s government over allegations of corrupt ties with business groups.
In addition, protesters are calling for an overhaul of the country’s political system and for fresh parliamentary elections.
Similar anti-government protests were held elsewhere across Bulgaria, including in the country’s second largest city Plovdiv where several hundred demonstrators marched through the city.
Other demonstrations were also staged in the cities of Varna, Dobrich, Ruse and Burgas, among others.
The protests began on June 14 in response to the controversial appointment of media mogul Delyan Peevski as chief of Bulgaria’s National Security Agency (DANS).
Last month, angry students in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia clashed with riot police as they tried to cordon off the parliament building by forming a human chain to prevent lawmakers from leaving.
The protest followed another demonstration on October 28 when students occupied lecture halls and prevented teaching in the main building of Sofia University.
The protesters began occupying parts of the university five days earlier, when students interrupted a lecture of Dimitar Tokushev, chair of Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court and professor at the university.
Demonstrators demanded Tokushev to explain the court’s recent decision to confirm the status of Peevski as a member of parliament.
The current Bulgarian government came to power in May, two months after the previous government fell following massive protests over low living standards and high utility bills in the poorest member of the European Union.
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