- National Union Attack
National Union Attack
Национален съюз Атака
Leader Volen Siderov Founded 2005 Headquarters Sofia Ideology Bulgarian nationalism
Political position Far right International affiliation None European affiliation None European Parliament Group Non-inscrits* Official colours dark green (official); white, green, red (national colours, non-official) National Assembly European Parliament Website http://www.ataka.bg/ Politics of Bulgaria
*Formerly part of Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty (2007).
The National Union Attack (Bulgarian: Национален съюз Атака, Natsionalen sayuz "Ataka") is a nationalist political party in Bulgaria. At the last legislative elections, 5 July 2009, it won 9.4% of the popular vote and 21 out of 240 seats. In the 2009 European Parliament elections Attack won 12.0% of the vote, giving them two seats in the European Parliament.
National Union Attack was formed by the National Movement for the Salvation of the Fatherland (Natsionalno Dvizhenie za Spasenie na Otechestvoto), the Bulgarian National Patriotic Party (Bǎlgarska Natsionalna-Patriotichna Partiya) and the Union of Patriotic Forces and Militaries of the Reserve Defense (Sǎyuz na Patriotichnite Sili i Voinite ot Zapassa - Zashtita). Led by TV host Volen Siderov, the coalition was created just two months before the elections. Siderov first created a party with that name, but its registration was delayed by the court so it could not participate in the elections by itself.
The coalition's leaders have criticized Bulgaria's ethnic minorities for allegedly being too privileged, they have accused the entire Bulgarian political establishment of being corrupt, and are opposed to NATO, the Iraq War and closer ties with the USA. Although the coalition is not particularly against Bulgaria's European Union membership, it has strongly demanded a revision of some of the previous agreements (e.g. the resolution on shutting down the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant near the Danube).
The sudden success of Attack has been attributed as the main cause of the poor performance (31%) of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, in the 2005 election. Prominent figures in the Union Attack have included Ognyan Saparev, Rumen Vodenicharov and Stella Bankova (who left the party in 2006).
The party has been subjected to much criticism in the media. This has included allegations that it is a xenophobic, anti-European and fascist movement, although its supporters prefer to define it as patriotic. Some of these allegations are better founded than others: for example the party's platform does not strictly include the fascist characteristics. Regardless, its members tend towards inflammatory comments that often lead to them being sidelined by other parties and criticized both at home and abroad.
A scandal was caused in 2006 by Attack's observer at the European Parliament Dimitar Stoyanov (who is also Volen Siderov's stepson). Stoyanov sent an email to all MEPs that appeared to belittle Roma women. The email said of Hungarian politician Lívia Járóka, "In my country there are tens of thousands of Gypsy girls way more pretty than this honorable one... you may even buy one, around 12-13 years, to be your loving wife.".
Apologists later claimed the e-mail was not intended to spark a public relations nightmare. Instead, they claimed its purpose was to highlight the fact that young girls of Roma origin can be literally bought like cattle, despite the fact that this is a heavy crime which clearly violates Human Rights Legislation.
Another problematic incident occurred earlier in 2006 on the Trakia highway, where a car accident and a subsequent clash resulted in party leader Volen Siderov being charged with hooliganism, perjury and obstruction of justice. In 2008 Volen Siderov was acquitted on all charges.
The party's two program documents, the '20 Principles' and the 'Program Scheme' feature a number of nationalistic characteristics. They define Bulgaria as a one-nation state and assert the supremacy of the state and the 'Bulgarian nation' above ethnic and religious diversity, but at the same time want to have an official religion and participation of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in legislative work and in all important government decisions, as well as teaching of the Church's doctrine in primary school. The '20 Principles' envisage formulating a crime of 'national betrayal' and criminal prosecution of the 'national traitors'. Attack has so far called most of the present-day politicians, human rights and minority rights activists 'national traitors'. The '20 Principles' also envisage sanctions for defamation of the 'Bulgarian national sacraments' and for 'slurs' against Bulgaria. Anti-establishment and anti-Western slogans have been traditionally associated with the left in Bulgaria, and Attack is nearly universally understood as a far-right party, whether in media coverage, political platform, or allies in the European parliament. Attack members themselves have said that the movement is 'neither left, nor right but Bulgarian'.
Their policies have in particular included hard lines against immigration and Muslim minorities. In Bulgaria, all other parliamentary parties have stated that they would not form a coalition with Attack, since they see it as a xenophobic group and a threat to Bulgarian ethnic minorities. Nevertheless the party managed to push through some of its policies after two years of support for the minority cabinet of PM Boyko Borisov.
Opinion survey results from March 2006 showed a significant increase in support for Attack. It ranked second after the BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party) and ahead of the former ruling party NDSV (National Movement for Simeon II) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. On March 3, 2006, party leader Siderov called for a meeting to be held in Sofia, and around 30,000 people came to hear speeches by him and other members of the party. During this rally Siderov declared "Bulgaria is not yet free. Bulgaria is still under Turkish rule". Party speakers protested against the ruling government in Bulgaria for forming an alliance with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and allegedly ignoring ethnic Bulgarian interests. Earlier in 2006, Siderov organized a petition against a decision by the Bulgarian government to set up US military bases in Bulgaria. In October, he came second in the first round of the 2006 presidential election, but lost in the second round after receiving around a quarter of the vote.
On March 3, 2009 Ataka organized a rally, attended by about 10,000, to celebrate the liberation of Bulgaria from "500 years of enslavement by the Ottomans". Some traditional political formations in Bulgaria have avoided contact and debate with the party - the party claim this is because "[they have] been scared from being involved in any debates with Ataka, as they know they would never win". SKAT TV - a broadcaster broadly sympathetic to the party's view - have been subject to deletion from some cable TV providers in Bulgaria. Ataka claims this is a "pre-election trick by the government, in order to silence one of its main competitors in the election"; however, independent sources cite consumer complaints and hate speech as the reasons for the channel being dropped by some providers.
In the European Parliament elections of June 7, 2009, the party's share was 12%. This placed them in fourth place, behind the ascending Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, the governing Coalition for Bulgaria and the pro-minority Movement for Rights and Freedoms. This gives them two European Parliament seats out of Bulgaria's 17.
National Assembly of Bulgaria Election # of seats won # of total votes % of popular vote 2005 21 296,848 8.1% 2009 21 395,733 9.4%
President of Bulgaria Election # of total votes (1st round) % of popular vote (1st round) # of total votes (2nd round) % of popular vote (2nd round) 2006 597,175 21.5% 649,387 24.1% 2011 122,466 3.7%
European Parliament Election # of seats won # of total votes % of popular vote 2007 3 275,237 14.2% 2009 2 308,052 12.0%
- ^ Pencheva, Mariya (2009), The electoral strategies of the populist parties in Bulgaria, p. 30, http://books.google.com/books?id=kqgRtP2wNNIC&pg=PA49&dq=pencheva+bulgaria+attack&hl=de&ei=Q-KqTp_AHIzFswaN0KDlDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false, retrieved 28 October 2011
- ^ M3 Web - http://m3web.bg. "http://www.novinite.com/elections2009/candidates_mep.php?id=1". Novinite.com. http://www.novinite.com/elections2009/candidates_mep.php?id=1. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ http://www.eubusiness.com/East_Europe/060428152510.960hy7ou[dead link]
- ^ "http://frognews.bg/news_8519/". Frognews.bg. http://frognews.bg/news_8519/. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ M3 Web - http://m3web.bg. "Elections 2009 - Parties - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". Novinite.com. http://www.novinite.com/elections2009/parties.php?id=1. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ byClive Leviev-Sawyer (2009-06-19). "Weekend Blog: Ataka, the losers - Blogs". The Sofia Echo. http://sofiaecho.com/2009/06/19/738649_weekend-blog-ataka-the-losers. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ "http://rezultati.cikep2009.eu/results/rik_00.html". Rezultati.cikep2009.eu. 1970-01-01. http://rezultati.cikep2009.eu/results/rik_00.html. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- (English) Official site in English
- (Bulgarian) Official site
- (Bulgarian) The party's daily newspaper, Attack
Political parties in Bulgaria Parties in the
(240 seats)Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (117) · Coalition for Bulgaria (40: Bulgarian Socialist Party · Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats · Agrarian Union "Aleksandar Stamboliyski" · Movement for Social Humanism) · Movement for Rights and Freedoms (37) · National Union Attack (21) · Blue Coalition (15: Union of Democratic Forces · Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria · United Agrarians) · Order, Law and Justice (10)
Parties in the
partiesAgrarian People's Union · Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union · Bulgarian New Democracy · Bulgarian Left · Civil Union "Roma" · For the Homeland · George's Day Movement · Green Party of Bulgaria · IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement · Lider · Movement for an Equal Public Model · National Movement for the Salvation of the Fatherland · National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria · New Time · Political Movement "Social Democrats" · Party of the Liberal Alternative and Peace · Union of the Bulgarian Patriots · The Greens · The Other Bulgaria · Union of Free Democrats · Union of the Patriotic Forces "Defense"
Defunct parties Portal:Politics · List of political parties · Politics of Bulgaria
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