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Over 5000 citizens visited the National Assembly’s "Open Doors Day" on November 1, 2009
November 1, 2009

77-year-old Yanko Yankov was the first visitor to the National Assembly at the "Open Doors Day " on November 1, 2009. Over 5000 people strolled around the parliament’s building as well as the two expositions titled "Old Masters collection” (from the golden fund of the Municipal Gallery - Kardjali) and “Kin, Family, Fatherland" on the loan from the Regional History Museum of Plovdiv.

Exactly at 10.00 am, the Chair of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva welcomed the first guest Yanko Yankov. He said that he had always wanted to visit the parliament’s building, to see where lawmakers were working, how laws of the country were adopted and was glad that today was having the opportunity to do so.

The Assembly’s President invited the first visitors to her office. Yanko Yankov sat in her chair and with a sense of humor turned to the present journalists: "What do you think, am I fit to be a speaker?".

A public discussion themed: "The builders of modern Bulgaria. The Enlighteners and the National Assembly” was organized in the plenary chamber. Special guests at the discussion were students and teachers from the National School for Ancient Languages and Cultures " St.Constantine Cyril the Philosopher". In her address, the President of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva, greeted everyone present on the occasion of the Day of People’s Enlighteners, when Bulgarians celebrate their nation’s spiritual leaders. It is our duty not only to remember but also to rethink the intransitive meaning of the deeds of the builders of modern Bulgaria, to get to know what were their contributions during the first National Assembly, while our country was going through a difficult time in its history, to know that the history of our Parliament is closely connected with the bright names of the prominent Bulgarians - public figures, writers and intellectuals, said Mrs. Tsetska Tsacheva. She noted that the historic building of the parliament bears the memory of such persons as Petko Slaveikov, Zahari Stoyanov, Stefan Stambolov, Ivan Vazov, Konstantin Velichkov, the parliamentary stenographer and writer Dimcho Debelianov,the writers Emilian Stanev, Nikolai Haitov, Yordan Radichkov, Valeri Petrov and many other personalities.

National Assembly President noted that high school and college students are the most frequent visitors to the Bulgarian Parliament.”We will not tire of repeating that the future of Bulgaria and the spiritual prosperity of our nation, today more than ever, depend on the patriotism, the energy and the great intellectual potential of the young educated Bulgarians”, Tsetska Tsacheva added. According to her, the digital civilization is an integral part of the present young generation. “You, intelligent and talented young people, you have free access to the world’s knowledge, and communication unhampered by borders, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration, if we label you the " new enlighteners with an e-mail address", she said to the young audience. The chair of the Assembly presented the two winners of this year's prize, established to reward people who follow and adhere to the spirit of the enlighteners of the past - Ms. Gergina Toncheva, Director of the National School for Ancient Languages and Cultures " St. Constantine Cyril the Philosopher ", and Ivo Petrov, Pernik’s Governor and much honored Community Center leader.

Tsetska Tsacheva said that the building of the National Assembly will be open to the public again.

MP Veselin Metodiev, who was a lecturer and moderator of the discussion, emphasized in his lecture how difficult could be to reach the level of one of the educators - Dr. Konstantin Stoilov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria between 1894 and 1899. Diplomatic documents from Britain, dating from the early 20th century bear witnesses describing the events happening in Bulgaria as a “miracle”. They point out that thanks to these educated persons Bulgaria was able, in a very short period of time, to create a parliamentary democracy and de facto an independent state, said Veselin Metodiev. This was achieved by Stambolov , Stoilov, Petko Karavelov and those people who had taken on themselves the burden to manage a society which was just coming out of a tyranny , added the MP.

The official commemoration of the national spiritual leaders emerged later - after the First World War - on the proposal of the Minister of Education in the cabinet of then PM Stamboliyski, explained Veselin Metodiev. He recalled that the idea was to honor the memory of the people of spirit of the Bulgarian Middle Ages and Renaissance. Starting with St. Ivan Rilski onwards, the names that fit in the pantheon of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders are taken from Bulgarian history, people of the rank of Paissii, Patriarch Evtimii, Church Leaders of the Bulgarian ethnic community, "said the MP.

“The Bulgarian choice to adhere to Europe was made with the Tarnovo Constitution, stressed Veselin Metodiev. He noted that in the Constituent Assembly, the founders of modern Bulgaria had not only made the choice, but had managed to impose it as a political practice to all Bulgarians. These are the grounds, now giving us the confidence that we are an European nation, a nation that knows and withstands the challenges to democracy, loosing it at times, going through crisis, but surviving again and again in its drive towards democracy”, concluded Prof. Veselin Metodiev.

Students from the National School for Ancient Languages and Cultures were primarily interested in the opportunities for young people's participation in politics. Citizens met in person and asked questions to the present MPs - Tsetska Tsacheva, Veselin Metodiev and the Committee on Education, Science and Children, Youth and Sports chairman Ognyan Stoichkov.

An audio-visual presentation regarding the history and the activities of the National Assembly was carried in the plenary hall all day long. The youngest guests received a copy of the educational brochure entitled "The first Parliament of Bulgaria”.

The President of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva was talking in her office, throughout the day, with citizens willing to meet her in person.

The Open Doors Day is among the events of the current year’s observation of the 130th anniversary of the Constituent Assembly and the adoption of the Tarnovo Constitution. It is part of the policy of the National Assembly for educational communication and dialogue with civil society.
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