Constitutive Declaration of the UDF


of the Union of Democratic Forces in Bulgaria

Following the change on 10 November, 1989, the political life in this country entered a new dramatic period of its development. The civil and political activity of the population has sharply risen. In the capital and other bigger cities of the country rallies and meetings are being held in support of the change; they raise demands for the further expansion of the democratic process.  The names of newer and newer informal groups, willing to take part in the country's political life, are added to the already established independent organizations. The old political parties, for example, the oppositionary Agrarian Union - Nikola Petkov faction, the Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Party, the Radical Democratic Party, etc. have re-instituted their organizational structure.

Initiative groups have arisen to form entirely new political parties, non-existent in the past. Thousands of citizens seek to join the already constituted independent alliances like the Independent Federation of Labour  - "Podkrepa", Eco-Glasnost, the Club for Glasnost and Democracy, the Club for the Illegally Repressed Since 1945, the Independent Society for the Protection of Human Rights, the Committee for the Protection of Religious  Rights, Freedom of Conscience and Spiritual Values.

The prestige of the official public organizations has rapidly dropped and they have been impelled to manoeuvre by declaring themselves independent from the state.

At the same time, the necessary personnel changes in the state and party apparata have not been carried out. There are no, or very little, changes of staff in the mass media.

The other parts of the country have practically not been affected by the changes.

Taking also into consideration the breaking economic crisis and the alarming inertness of the authorities in the resolution of ethnic problems, which could cause an upsurge of very strong discontent or even turmoil, it becomes clear that the political circumstances in this country have been seriously aggravated.

This new political situation imperatively demands to start the unification of the efforts and capacities of the independent formations with the purpose of promoting the democratic process. This has made the independent organizations - the Independent Society for the Protection of Human Rights, the Club for Glasnost and Democracy, Eco-Glasnost, the Independent Federation of Labour - "Podkrepa", the Committee for the Protection of Religious Rights, Freedom of Conscience and Spiritual Values, the Club for the Illegally Repressed Since 1945, the Independent Student Society, the Citizens' Initiative Movement, the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party (united), the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union - Nikola Petkov faction - unite their efforts in a Union of Democratic Forces (UDF).

Being based exclusively on the co-ordination of activities of the independent interest groups and their common struggle for democracy, the UDF preserves their full autonomy and independence, their specific profile and sphere of activity, prestige attained, place in the nation's public life; in this sense, the UDF unites the efforts of its constituent parties, and not the parties themselves.

The UDF co-ordinates the efforts of these formations in their struggle for democracy on the basis of a common democratic platform made up of items suggested by the founders themselves. The platform, besides the general claims for civil society, political pluralism, multi-party system, rule-of-law state and market economy, also includes the following more specific objectives:

  • Equality and equal standing of all forms of ownership before law: private, co-operative, state;
  • New labour and welfare legislation, guaranteeing the working people's right to independent trade unions and strikes and protecting the underprivileged and disadvantaged.
  • Drafting a new democratic constitution of the nation;
  • Bringing the national laws in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the other documents related to the Helsinki process;
  • Depolitization of the army and the police;
  • Holding democratic elections for a new National Assembly;
  • Rehabilitation of all illegally repressed in the period under totalitarian power;
  • Complete autonomy of the higher educational institutions and real participation of the students in their government;
  • Eliminating the ideological monopoly in the educational system.
  • Self-government of research institutes and artist associations;
  • Legal and financial independence of the mass media and the publishing houses;
  • Complete freedom of speech, expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.
  • Constitutional guarantee of the equality of atheists and religious believers and a new democratic law on denominations.
  • Legislative regulation of free religious worship and ensuring the independence of religions from the state;
  • Closing the Committee of Ecclesiastical Matters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Conformity of economic growth with the norms of wholesome environment;
  • New approach to ethnic and religious minorities,  in agreement with the Charter of Human Rights;

The UDF shall be open to all independent associations and political groups, willing to join their efforts in the struggle for materializing the platform outlined above, by working to this end using only peaceful and legal means. The admission of new members to the UDF is possible only when approved by its founders. Fascists, Stalinists, racists, chauvinists and revenge-seekers are not admitted to membership.

The UDF shall be headed by a Co-ordination Council (CC) consisting of three representatives of each formation, one of whom should be either the president or the secretary of the formation.

Resolutions on important problems shall be passed in the CC by a majority of two thirds, and on current issues - by simple majority.

The CC shall elect Chairman and Secretary, who shall manage the operative work, and two spokesmen who shall voice the Council's official opinion.

The CC shall perform the following activities: shall organize rallies, "round tables" with the Government, shall have common election tickets, write petitions, publish declarations, form mixed committees for working out alternative documents, etc., without restricting the initiatives of its individual members in this respect.

Sofia, 7 December, 1989.