1. Information on the political situation since the fall of the government last week. [BGR7406]


On 29 November 1990, after weeks of street protests over food and fuel shortages and increasing pressure from a general strike, Andrei Lukanov, Bulgaria's Prime Minister, resigned (The New York Times 30 Nov. 1990, A15; Toronto Star 30 Nov. 1990) Parliament accepted Lukanov's resignation and the strike, started by the anti-Communist trade union Podkrepa, was ended (Reuters 27 Nov. 1990). President Zhelev stated that parliament would meet to discuss plans to begin drafting a new constitution.

On 7 December, President Zhelev appointed Dimiter Popov to head the new caretaker government. Popov was the head of Sofia's municipal court and had earlier helped to organize Bulgaria's first free elections (Reuters, 7 Dec. 1990). New elections are scheduled for May 1991 (please see response to your info. req. No. BGR7408).

According to the The New York Times (30 Nov. 1990, A15) experts see the collapse of Lukanov's government as "yet another step in the disintegration of the communist party that had governed Bulgaria since WW II" (please see the attached New York Times 30 Nov. 1990 for further details).

Petar Beron, leader of Bulgaria's opposition party, the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), resigned on 4 December admitting that he had worked as a police informer under the deposed government (The New York Times 5 Dec. 1990, A13). On 11 December 1990, Philip Dimitrov, vice president of the Green Party, was elected head of the UDF (Le Devoir 12 Dec. 1990)

According to External Affairs (External Affairs 1990, 12 Nov. 1990) every Bulgarian has the right to obtain a passport. Theoretically, exit visas are still required for all countries except former East Bloc countries and Yugoslavia. The penalty, as expressed by the telex, for overstaying an exit visa is a small fine. Also, one should consider the portion of the telex dealing with the measures reportedly taken by the state regarding the non-return of property confiscated of those who have overstayed their visas.
Please find attached External Affairs 1990, 12 Nov. 1990 for further information on travel/leaving Bulgaria.


"Bulgarian Premier Quits after 2 Weeks of Protests." The New York Times, 30 November 1990.

"Chaos in Bulgaria Forces PM from Office." The Toronto Star, 30 November 1990.

"Ex Opposition chief in Bulgaria Admits Role as Informer." The New York Times, 5 December 1990.

External Affairs 1990, 12 November 1990.

"Judge is Bulgaria's Premier." The New York Times, 8 December 1990.

"Non-Party Lawyer Picked to Head New Bulgarian Government." Reuters, 7 December 1990, PM Cycle (Nexis).

"Nouveau Chef." Le Devoir [Montreal], 12 December 1990.

"Union Leader Reports Clash with Police in Bulgaria's strike." Reuters, 27 November 1990, PM Cycle (Nexis).