NMSII GETS READY FOR ELECTIONS
The members of the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII) have obviously learnt a lesson from the lost presidential elections. The party already began to prepare for the local voting in the autumn of 2003. After a meeting of Sofia municipal and regional coordinators with NMSII First Deputy Chairman Plamen Panayotov, the Parliament Deputy Chairwoman Kamelia Kassabova, and the MP Roumyana Georgieva, it became clear that the yellow politicians are planning to prepare a kind of a staff bank. Local coordinators will be allowed to propose candidates for mayors and municipal councillors who will later be selected by the central administration of the NMSII. The only thing that is not clear yet is whether the members of the party will be allowed to propose candidate-mayors and councillors or the coordinators will be entrusted to select the best candidates. Also, it is still to be seen whether the competition for local power will provoke more scandals in the NMSII. Plamen Panayotov refused to comment on the idea for conducting elections within the party and said it had not been discussed at all. As NMSII has no local structures yet, the procedure has little chances to be realized.It's more curious to see what coalition strategy the yellow party will apply for the local elections next year. It's already possible to predict that NMSII will hardly bind to any political group, including its partner in the central level ruling coalition, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF). Moreover, the party of ethnic Turks, led by Ahmed Dogan, is also alarming that NMSII will not be their priority partner. The party of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha may have problems with its partners from the Oborishte Movement and the Party of Bulgarian Women, as it already happened in the partial local elections in Rousse, for example. Most probably, the NMSII will choose the formula of proven professionals, supported by the public opinion, in order to avoid the purely political bargains. During the latest local elections, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) used this formula and proved it was working on the local level.