Ex-Bulgarian president visits Boko, UDC

SHARE   |   Monday, 20 October 2014   |   By Staff Writer

Former Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov has endorsed Umbrella for Democratic Change leader, Duma Boko and his party. Stoyanov was in Gaborone on Thursday where he was accompanied by Global Dialogue and Cooperation (CGDC) secretary-general Stamen Stantchev. The two are friends of Boko and Stoyanov told the media in a press briefing that they met the UDC president at a conference on democracy some years back.

For his part, Boko revealed that if his party wins the elections on Friday 24tt October, they will not have to run around the world looking for investors as they have partners in Europe like CGDC and many others across the world. “We will have friends waiting to help us with ideas,” he said.

The former Bulgarian president had mainly come to Africa, leading a delegation which includes Vice-President of the European People’s Party and a Member of the European Parliament from Portugal, Mario David, to Harare on Sunday to promote dialogue between European Union (EU) businesspeople and local policy-makers ahead of the further removal of targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe’s leaders and corporate entities by the 28-member bloc next month, the Zimbabwe Independent has ascertained.

Stoyanov — who was Bulgarian president from 1997 to 2002 — and his delegation which includes David, is coming from the Vienna-based Centre for Global Dialogue and Cooperation (CGDC). The CGDC, a politically independent international non-governmental organisation, was formed in 2009 by Stoyanov, Walter Schwimmer, Werner Fasslabend, Etienne Declercq and Stantchev to liaise between business and politics regionally and globally. David, an Angolan-born Portuguese national who sits on the CGDC international board, played a major role behind the scenes to get EU sanctions on Zimbabwe scaled down. The EU, whose trade with Zimbabwe is close to US$1 billion annually, has largely removed sanctions on Zimbabwe except on Mugabe, his wife Grace and military commanders, as well as several business entities.

The EU’s move next month will pave way for normalisation of relations which have been strained since sanctions were imposed in 2002 due to policy differences over land reform, human rights and electoral violence and manipulation. (The Patriot on Sunday and Zimbabwe Independent)