The Election Day in Afghanistan ended undisturbed under normal conditions and without complaints or infringement of election regulations, at 8 pm local time (6.30 pm Bulgarian time).
Three hundred eighty-four military personnel voted in the polling stations, located in military bases in Kabul and Kandahar, along with civilians also based in Afghanistan.
Proper organization was established at the polling station of Camp Phoenix, Kabul, to enable military advisory teams’ personnel, medical staff, military policemen, and ISAF staff officers to cast their ballot.
The polling station in the area of Kandahar airfield received voters from 14th Force Protection Company, guarding the inner zone of the airfield, as well as personnel from the two Military Advisory Teams.
The Election Day in Afghanistan started at 7.00 am local time (5.30 am Bulgarian time). The polling stations in Kabul and Kandahar commenced their activities under normal conditions.
Three hundred twenty-six military personnel from the Bulgarian contingent in Afghanistan have declared their will to vote for MP’s. In addition to them, all members of the contingent, which is 422 men strong, may exercise their right to vote.
The polling station of Camp Phoenix, Kabul, will provide the opportunity for the personnel of the two Military Advisory Teams and the medical staff, the military policemen from the formation, and the ISAF staff officers carrying out tasks at the ISAF HQ and the ISAF Joint Command HQ to cast their ballot.
The polling station in the area of Kandahar airfield will accept voters from 14th Force Protection Company and military personnel from the two Military Advisory Teams. The Company’s duties involve guarding the inner zone of the airfield, while the Advisory Teams are tasked with the training and education of units of the Afghan National Army.
The National Commander of the 24th Bulgarian contingent in Afghanistan is Colonel Kiril Daskalov from the Joint Force Command.
The polling stations opened in Bulgarian Embassies will receive a further 10 personnel participating in the EU’s military operation EUFOR ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 11 personnel participating in NATO’s mission in Kosovo (KFOR), as well as 7 Bulgarian military observers participating in EU’s mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia).
The necessary organization has been established in military formations in the territory of Bulgaria as well, making it possible for military personnel who are carrying out their professional duties today, May 12th, to exercise their right to vote in the parliamentary elections. Commanders have issued orders enabling military personnel to participate in the elections without detriment to their service duties.
In pursuance of the obligations of the Republic of Bulgaria under Open Skies Treaty, the Russian Federation will conduct a flyover surveillance of the territory of our country.
The inspection activities will be conducted in the period 13-17 May 2013 and will include a flyover of a route defined by the Russian inspectors on the territory of our country by a surveillance aircraft АN-30 Н for aerial photographs.
The inspection group from Russia will be accompanied by arms control experts of the Strategic Planning Directorate and by specialists on the implementation of Open Skies Treaty from the Air Force of the Republic of Bulgaria. The commitments made by the Republic of Bulgaria under Open Skies Treaty contribute to enhancing the prestige our country has acquired in the activities related to arms control, to maintaining the already established climate of openness and transparency in international relations, and in implementing the confidence and security building measures in European and world perspective.
The Minister of Defence Todor Tagarev opened today, 9 May 2013, in the town of Yambol, the Museum of the Battle Fame and the restored portal-monument with the names of the servicemen of 29th Yambol Regiment, of 42-th and 46-th infantry regiments who died in battles in the Balkan Wars and the World War I. The Mayor of Yambol, Gergi Slavov, participated in the ceremony.
Minister Tagarev emphasized in his speech that in making the choice which of the military sites have to be restored the Ministry of Defence did not hesitate to select the portal-monument of the heroes from Yambol regiments, a site that today is also the portal to the Museum of the Battle Fame. “The significance of these monuments and museums is not only to keep the memory of past grandeur alive, but also to remind today’s generations that our forefathers struggled and gave their lives for a cause – not a political, party or economic, not even a personal cause. They struggled and died in battles for the unification and grandeur of our Motherland and for the freedom of our enslaved brethren,” he said.
At the opening, Minister Tagarev also pointed out that the project on the restoration of the monument was a very ambitious one because the portal-monument practically did not exist, and it had to be built from scratch. “The common efforts on the part of the Ministry of Defence and Yambol Municipality brought about this day when this sacred place came to life again for the glory and joy of the residents and guests of the town of Yambol, and every patriotic Bulgarian,” said the Minister adding that the restoration of the Monument became possible thanks to the work done by the National Initiative Committee for commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Balkan Wars, and that it was the organization that provided the necessary financial means.
In conclusion, the Minister of Defence pointed out that the Ministry of Defence would continue assisting initiatives of this nature and magnitude.
In order to create the Museum of the Battle Fame, which is the first specialized municipal museum of this type, the Ministry of Defence gave the local authorities special assistance by providing free of charge the Yambol Municipality with a 9- decare patch of land, buildings and obsolete combat equipment.
In the Museum’s exposition, visitors can see German tanks T-4 Maybach and WWII German T-3 gun, both of great historic value, restored through the financial means provided by the Ministry of Defence. The prototype of the WWII German Krupp-Gruson tank of 1884 is also among the exhibits. Apart from the unique pieces of German armored equipment, the visitors of the Museum have the opportunity to see an exhibition revealing the history and the battles fought by the military units from the town of Yambol.
Guards of honor from Yambol garrison participated in the ceremony. The servicemen laid wreathes and flowers before the restored portal-monument of heroes who died in the wars.
The Chairperson of Yambol Municipal Council Mrs. Tatyana Petkova, the Director of the Departmental Service Support, MoD, Colonel Rumen Vassilev, the Chief of Yambol garrison Colonel Dimitar Ganev, citizens and guests visiting the town attended the ceremony.
After opening the Museum of the Battle Fame, in response to journalist’ questions Minister Tagarev pointed out that the procedure on selecting a new fighter aircraft was underway on the basis of the work which had been completed so far. “This is a long process, serious work has been done until now, and we are taking some steps towards continuing these activities,” Minister Tagarev said. He has emphasized that at present there are no plans for prolonging the resource of SU-25 aircraft at Bezmer Air Base, and the decisions incorporated in the White Paper on Defence and the Armed Forces approved by the previous National Assembly are being fulfilled.
Minister Tagarev declared that he is an optimist with regard to the development of the Bulgarian army which one of the institutions where reforms have made most significant progress. “An enormous part of the senior officers are servicemen who have graduated from specialized military educational institutions for higher education in our country, in the USA, Germany, France or UK. They are well prepared and can employ modern management methods as well as methods aimed at working with human resources,” he said.
In 2012, in relation to commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Balkan Wars and by virtue of Decree of the Council of Ministers № 140/3.07.2012, 560 000 Leva were allocating to repairs and restoration of 50 military monuments in the whole country.
The Ministry of Defence, through the Departmental Service Support, MoD, restored 10 monuments and the Military Mausoleum – Charnel-house in Sofia. The Portal-Monument of the 29th Yambol Infantry Regiment was one of these ten monuments. Yambol Municipality participated in the restoration by developing the project and restoring the commemorative plaques.
Servicemen of the Bulgarian Army participated today, 9 May 2013, in the celebration commemorating Europe Day. Representative units and the military brass band of military unit 34 750 participated in the national flag and the flag of Europe raising ceremony which took place in “20-th July” Square in the town of Karlovo.
In the town of Assenovgrad, servicemen of Military Unit 24 490 conducted solemn military ceremony, paying homage to the memory of the soldiers from Assenovgrad region who died in the wars for national unification of Bulgaria. Expressing their gratitude to the heroes, the servicemen laid wreaths and flowers.
In the town of Smolyan, servicemen of 101th Alpine Battalion laid wreaths at the Monument - Charnel-house in Raykovo in memory of the heroes.
In the town of Plovdiv, servicemen of Military Unit 44220 participated in solemn ceremony, laying wreaths and flowers at the Volunteer Soldier Monument in the Central Cemetery Park in the town of Plovdiv.
In the city of Varna, the representative brass band and guards of honor from the Navy participated in the national flag and the flag of Europe raising ceremony. The biggest flags of the EU and of the Republic of Bulgaria in our country were raised to the sounds of the Anthem of Europe and our national anthem.
Representatives of the local executive power, war veterans, members of the Union of officers and non-commissioned officers from the reserve, representative of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and many citizens attended the ceremonies in the towns.