Bulgaria, Democratization

The years after the 1989 collapse of the ruling communist government in Bulgaria, along with the profound political changes throughout Eastern European countries, resulted in a fundamental restructuring of the society. Prior to that, an atmosphere encouraging social obedience in line with Party-State propaganda priorities reigned in the country. Freedom of expression was totally controlled. The idea of glasnost (openness) and perestroyka (restructuring) launched by Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 opened the doors for pluralistic discussion clubs in Bulgaria. The first dissident associations, however small, found support among the public. Communist Party leaders, fearing the threat of social unrest, tried to reform the party along Soviet perestroika lines. The general secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) and chairman of the State Council, Todor ...

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