Coups d'Etat



The first one was accomplished on 27 April, 1881, by the sovereign Prince Alexander Batemberg, who suspended the constitution and introduced the rule referred to as the "regime of extraordinary powers", which lasted until September, 1883.

Alexander Batemberg himself was dethroned on 9 August, 1886, by some officers at the back of whose actions lied the intrigues of Imperial Russia. The successful countercoup, organized by the Chairman of Parliament Stefan Stambolov, failed to put back Alexander Batemberg to the throne, because of the severe opposition of the Russian Emperor.

In 1887 it was again Stambolov who defeated a plot against the 'independence from Petersburg' policy, pursued by the regency he headed. The attempted coup had been performed mainly by officers from the Rousse garrison.

Later on there followed three more coups d'etat in which Kimon Gheorghiev and Damian Velchev were among the chief actors.

The first one was carried out on 9 May, 1923, and resulted in overthrowing the cabinet of the Agrarian Union party (headed by Prime Minister and leader of the party Alexander Stamboliiski). Besides the organizers, members of  the Military League, some representatives of the Liberals, Radicals, Democrats, Narodnyaks (Populists) and Social Democrats had been informed of the conspiracy.

The second coup, which took place on 19 May, 1934, was realized by the Military League and the "Zveno" Political Circle, who removed the coalition cabinet of Stoicho Moshanov, formed by Democrats, Agrarian Union representatives, Liberals and Radicals; it was followed by the prohibition of the activities of political parties, which led to the establishment of the personal regime of tzar Boris II.

The third coup was fulfilled by Kimon Gheorghiev and Damian Velchev in the night of 9 September, 1944. It abolished the democratic cabinet of Konstantin Mouraviev, who had been in power for only a week.  In this way, Kimon Gheorghiev became Prime Minister, and Damian Velchev  - Minister of Defence, in the newly formed government of the Otechestven Front (Fatherland Front) coalition dominated by the Communists. This coup was accomplished two days after the Soviet Army stepped in Bulgaria.