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Three MPs Expelled from Vazrazhdane Group , Floor Leader Kostadinov Says

Three MPs have been expelled from the Vazrazhdane parliamentary group, floor leader Kostadin Kostadinov told a news briefing here on Friday. Ivo Rouschev, Alexander Arangelov, and Nikolay Drenchev have to bear political responsibility for having nominated the four Vazrazhdane representatives on the Sofia Municipal Council who caused Thursday’s situation at the Council, Kostadinov said.
On Thursday, after the election of Tsvetomir Petrov of Continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria (Save Sofia) for Sofia Municipal Council Chairman, the Vazrazhdane group in the Council expelled four municipal councillors: Krassimir Galabov, Ventsi Stoychev, Vassil Draganov, and Sevdelina Petrova. Another municipal councillor of Vazradzhdane, Deyan Nikolov, described his four colleagues as traitors, because the group’s candidate for Sofia Municipal Council Chair got only three votes in favour. 
Kostadinov said that the four municipal councillors in question had chosen financial incentives over Vazrazhdane’s honour and cause. Their decision affects the party organization. “We received many, many messages and requests from members and supporters for an explanation of the situation that occurred,” he noted. At a meeting on Thursday evening, the Sofia organization of Vazrazhdane adopted a decision that MPs Rouschev, Arangelov, and Drenchev should bear political responsibility for having nominated the four for municipal councillors. After the three MPs refused to comply with the decision, the Vazrazhdane parliamentary group decided to expel them, Kostadinov explained. “They chose to remain in Parliament instead of resign to bear the political responsibility. In this case we, as a parliamentary group, will bear the responsibility, because we are obliged to show our voters that treacheries are not forgiven,” he commented. “The situation is extremely unpleasant, because out of 201 municipal councillors from across the country, we have a breach only in Sofia,” Kostadinov went on to say. From here onward, the representatives of Varzrazhdane on the  Sofia Municipal Council will work two-fold and three-fold more than usual, he added.
At a news briefing, Drenchev said that he and the other two MPs expelled from Vazrazhdane do not feel like traitors. “We cannot be accused of any actions that we have made,” he added. “I have not said anything against Vazrazhdne or against Chairman Kostadin Kostadinov, I have not done anything that would tarnish the image of the Vazrazhdane party,” Drenchev told journalists. At present, he, Rouschev, and Arangelov remain independent MPs, and Drenchev is considering leaving Parliament.
“To me, the work in Parliament seems idling, particularly from the position Vazrazhdane was standing at: a deaf opposition that cannot pass anything constructive and nothing of what its voters dream about, so if I quit, I will not miss it [the job],” Drenchev said further.
Asked if the three of them feel betrayed, Drenchev said that are grown men and their feelings are not of particular importance. “Perhaps what matters is our name, which is not right to be slandered in such an absurd and extremely rushed manner,” he commented. “Maybe my fault lies mostly in that I defended the actions of our municipal councillors by saying that they didn’t do anything much different than what has happened in many places in the country, including in Varna, where we have backed a chairman of CC-DB. How come this is reprimandable in one place and not in another,” he asked.
Drenchev denied having taking money, adding that he does not know a single person who has taken money. “I have been an organizational secretary of the Vazrazhdane party since 2014, when 50 people gathered for the first pre-congress constituent assembly. I have been an organizational secretary of Vazrazhdane when there was no money, no subsidies,” he argued. Arangelov too is one of the party’s founding members, who built the Sofia organization from scratch and who in the last months has been working for Sofia Region, from where 10% of all municipal councillors of Vazrazdane come, Drenchev noted.
The three expelled MPs and the four expelled municipal councillors of Vazrazdane plan to soon give a news conference to “say the truth about what this is about”, Drenchev said.