The Bulgarian Socialist Party (Bulgarian: Българска социалистическа партия, БСП; Bulgarska sotsialisticheska partiya, BSP) is a social-democratic political party in Bulgaria and successor to the Bulgarian Communist Party. The BSP is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Socialist International, and is currently led by Sergei Stanishev.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party is recognised as the successor of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party created on 2 August 1891 on Buzludzha peak by Dimitar Blagoev, designated in 1903 as the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party (Narrow Socialists). The party is thus affectionately known as "The Centenarian" (Столетницата, Stoletnitsata).
Its name was changed in April 1990, while the former Communist Party was still in power, during the mandate of Prime Minister Andrey Lukanov. Lukanov's term was marked by heavy food shortages and ended in December the same year, after civil unrest.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party formed a new government in 1995, headed by Prime Minister Zhan Videnov. Its term ended at the end of 1996, after the country entered into a spiral of hyperinflation, the most serious economic and financial crisis in its recent history. Large-scale demonstrations in the cities and a general strike prevented the formation of a new socialist government.
After two full terms out of power (1997–2005), the BSP and its allies in the Coalition for Bulgaria won the national elections of 2005 by 31.0% and formed a coalition with the centrist party National Movement Simeon II and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. The cabinet was headed by BSP chairman Sergei Stanishev. The government adopted an liberal economic model more consistent with right-wing politics (10% flat tax and cutting of government spending), and initially built on the economic growth and stability achieved in previous years, while increasing state-paid salaries and pensions. However, in the second part of the coalition's term, Bulgaria, now a member of the European Union, lost millions of Euros of European financial aid in the wake of allegations of widespread political corruption. The cabinet was also slow or unable to react to the encroaching world economic crisis and its term ended with a budget deficit after several successive surplus years.
In the 2009 national elections, the BSP lost catastrophically to the conservative party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), obtaining a mere 36 out of 240 parliamentary seats (18%), and remained in opposition.
List of chairmen
- Aleksandar Lilov (1990–1991)
- Zhan Videnov (1991–1996)
- Georgi Parvanov (1996–2001)
- Sergei Stanishev (2001–present)
- Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
- История. Българска социалистическа партия. URL accessed on 29 March 2010.
- "Столетницата избра Бриго за София", Dnes.bg, 2007-09-01. Retrieved on 29 March 2010. (in Bulgarian)