By Boris Popivanov, Andreas Umland
"Is Bulgaria's Left heading in the direction of decomposition or to a brand new identification? Popivanov bargains a good analytical answer."?Georgi Karasimeonov, Professor of Political technological know-how at Sofia college
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Extra resources for Changing Images of the Left in Bulgaria: The Challenge of Post-Communism in the Early 21st Century
They remained true to the ideas because of which and actually only because of which part of their voters supported them. Curry and Urban (2003: 245–248) bring forward some consequences of the shared communist legacy of successor parties that allow them to find their place in the new post-socialist environment. The first one is the initial ostracism under which they were placed after the end of the regime: a broad spectrum ranging from accusations and wholesale rejection on the part of political opponents, through governmental revanchism, to criminal prosecution against party figures or legal procedures for forfeiture of party assets.
Previously, communist parties in the countries of the Eastern Bloc had played the role of 'avant-garde' bearers of a social and political project that in the end failed, a project that came to be broadly and firmly associated with the left—in its Soviet version, as already mentioned. That is why the question regarding the left after the democratic changes has to a large extent taken the shape of a question regarding the organizational and ideological fate of the communist parties, which had lost their monopoly on power.
G. in Romania, where Ishiyama (2001) and Grzymala-Busse (2006) unequivocally name Ion Iliescu's PSD as the successor, yet Pop-Elecheş (2008) also names as additional successors Petre Roman's PD and even Corneliu Vadim Tudor's PRM). There are various criteria to be employed in the search for continuity with former communist parties. They include similarities in ideology and symbolism, continuities in leaders and members, as well as legal succession, and so on. In order not to diverge in a discussion that is peripheral to the object of this study, I will follow the dominant position, which recognizes the following successor parties at the start of democratic changes: SdRP in Poland, MSzP in Hungary, KSČM and KSS in the former Czechoslovakia, PDS in Germany, and FSN in Romania.