UDF-Supported Candidate Wins Elections in Rousse, Former Communist Party Functionary Elected Mayor of Blagoevgrad.
Sofia, April 28 (BTA) - Eleonora Nikolova, supported by the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) won in the second round of the mayoral elections in the Danubian city of Rousse and former communist party functionary Lazar Prichkapov became mayor of Blagoevgrad, the chiefs of the municipal electoral commissions in Blagoevgrad and Rousse said.
The new mayor of Rousse, Eleonora Nikolova, is a lawyer. She has chaired the district court in Rousse, and has worked as regional judge and regional prosecutor. She chairs the Lions Ladies' Club in Rousse. Nikolova was nominated by the Professionals for the Prosperity of Rousse Civic Association and supported by the UDF and the right-wing parties in the city.
Nikolova polled 24,236 or 57.38 per cent of the votes.
Voter turnout in the second round was 26 per cent which was 8.2 per cent higher than in the first round on April 20. Despite this increase, voter turnout was considerably lower than in previous elections when it was never below 50 per cent. The mayor of Rousse was actually elected by 14.92 per cent of Rousse's more than 162,000 electors.
After the victory Nikolova said that the people of Rousse have voted for a change from the previous city administration which was unscrupulous and failed to establish a favourable business climate. The 18 months until the regular local elections will be a bridge to the next mayoral term, Nikolova said.
In Blagoevgrad independent candidate Lazar Prichkapov defeated Coalition for Blagoevgrad candidate Viktor Assiyski, supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and other left-wing formations by only 22 votes. Voter turnout was 26.43 per cent of which 50.06 per cent voted for Prichkapov and 49.94 per cent of Viktor Assiyski.
Lazar Prichkapov is a former local communist party leader. Minutes after the results were announced he told reporters that he had expected a highly contested race. On the day before the second round of the elections there were no blows below the belt, unlike in the preceding week, Prichkapov said.
"Let us leave all this behind and face the future," he added.
The low voter turnout in Rousse and Blagoevgrad is an alarming signal for all political forces, BSP leader Sergey Stanishev said, commenting on the outcome of the elections. As regards the new mayor of Blagoevgrad, Stanishev said that this nostalgic vote also gives rise to concern. Nostalgia gives no future perspectives, according to Stanishev.
The results repeat the vote of last summer when people voted for a rosy future.
On the whole the vote in the local by-elections was a vote of no-confidence in the ruling Simeon II National Movement which should make its conclusions, Stanishev summed up.
Former members of the Bulgarian communist party actively supported by the UDF competed in the local by-elections in Rousse and Blagoevgrad and their success is not a revival of the UDF but a restoration of communism, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF, of the ethnic Turks) deputy leader Emel Etem told reporters in Razgrad where the MRF held a municipal conference on Sunday.
Etem accused the UDF of backing Eleonora Nikolova who was communist party secretary in Rousse until 1989. The MRF believes that the opposition is assisting the return of former communists to power to prove that its defeat in the elections started this country's recommunization.
Unique Installation to Enhance Safety at Kozlodoui N-Plant.
Sofia, April 28 (BTA) - Enemona AD started the installation of a jet vortex condenser (JVC) at Unit 3 of the Kozlodoui N-plant, the company said. The information was confirmed by the N-plant.
The facility is unique and is an innovation in preventing accidents in N-plants with WWER 440 MW and W-230 type reactors. Enemona installed the first JVC in Bulgaria in Unit 4 at the end of 2001, the press release says.
Preparations for the installation of a JVC in Unit 3 started at the beginning of February 2002. The building of the pool in which the JVC will be installed was completed on Sunday. The installation of the JVC itself will start after a 24-hour trial.
The JVC is the main part of the PRG'97 Comprehensive Programme for Upgrading Units 1-4. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it provides the best technological means to upgrade the operational safety of nuclear power plants of an older Russian design.
The main purpose of upgrading the localizing safety system by installing JVC in Units 3 and 4 of the Kozlodoui N-plant is to ensure the confinement's structural integrity in case of large break LOCA accident.
The installation of the first JVC in Bulgaria in 2001 is the second installation of a JVC at an operating N-plant in the world. In 2001 a JVC was installed in Unit 3 of the Novovoronezh N-plant in Russia. The installation lengthened the Unit's design life by five years, the press release says.
Official says Canadian investors interested in building second nuclear plant.
SOFIA, Bulgaria - Two Canadian companies have expressed interest in building a second nuclear plant in Bulgaria, the foreign minister said Sunday.
Solomon Pasi identified the firms as Canada's state nuclear energy company, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., and SNC-Lavalin Inc., an engineering and construction company, while speaking to reporters upon his return from a visit to Canada.
Bulgaria and Canada soon will start negotiations on an accord dealing with nuclear energy cooperation, Pasi said, but the pact won't force Bulgaria to choose the Canadian investors.
"It is too early to make commitments," Pasi said.
The government recently announced it would resume the construction of a second nuclear power plant near the Danube port of Belene, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Sofia. Bulgaria has already invested dlrs 1.2 billion into the project, which was frozen in 1990 after pressure from environmentalists.
Bulgaria must close two of six units at its only nuclear plant in Kozlodui, 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Sofia, by the end of this year under an agreement with the European Union, which considers the Soviet-designed reactors unsafe.
Under the same agreement, by the end of 2004 Bulgaria has to negotiate a deadline for the closure of two more Kozlodui units.
The four units to be closed are 440-megawatt pressurized water reactors without safety containment. They were installed 1974 to 1982, and manufacturers say they have 30-year life spans. Two newer 1,000-megawatt units with safety containment won't be affected by the closures.
Bulgaria Considers Nuclear Plant.
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - Two Canadian companies have expressed interest in building a second nuclear plant in Bulgaria, the country's foreign minister said Sunday.
Solomon Pasi identified the firms as Canada's state nuclear energy company, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., and SNC-Lavalin Inc., an engineering and construction company.
Bulgaria and Canada soon will start negotiations on an agreement dealing with nuclear energy cooperation, Pasi said in remarks to reporters after returning from a visit to Canada.
But Bulgaria hasn't decided yet whether it will choose the Canadian companies to build the plant, Pasi said.
The government recently announced it would resume the construction of a second nuclear power plant near the Danube port of Belene, 155 miles northeast of Sofia. Bulgaria has already invested $1.2 billion in the project.
Bulgaria must close two of six units at its only nuclear plant in Kozlodui, 125 miles north of Sofia, by the end of this year under an agreement with the European Union. The EU considers the Soviet-designed reactors unsafe.
Under the same agreement, Bulgaria has to negotiate a deadline by the end of 2004 for closing two more Kozlodui units.
The four units to be closed are 440-megawatt pressurized water reactors.
Two newer 1,000-megawatt units aren't affected by the agreement.