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Bulgaria: Information on the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BANU)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 November 1990
Citation / Document Symbol BGR7311
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Bulgaria: Information on the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BANU), 1 November 1990, BGR7311, available at: [accessed 23 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


Immediately after World War I the Bulgarian National Agrarian Union controlled Bulgaria's parliamentary democracy and its government but was then victim of a fascist coup in 1923 following economic failures and unsuccessful social reforms. (Preliminary Report on the Upcoming Bulgarian Elections 1990, Appendix C)

On 9 September 1944 the "Fatherland Front", a Communist-dominated coalition, seized power in Bulgaria (Ibid.), imposed a reorganization of the BANU and kept it under its control. The BANU became a coalition partner of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) but never had an independant political agenda.(Ibid.)

Until 1989 the BANU functioned as a mass organization in the countryside. Its membership was also permanently set at 120,000 and was allocated 100 seats in the National Assembly, five seats on the Council of Ministers, and one deputy chairmanship on the State Council.(Delury 1987, 140) "The Union's by-laws commit[ted] it to full support of BCP policy and programs, and its leadership [was] selected by the Communist Party."(Ibid.)

The BANU was one of the founding organizations of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) which was founded on 7 December 1989 in Sofia. Afterwards the BANU officially became a party on 12 December 1989 (Report on Eastern Europe 1990) with Zvelta Dashalova, Justice Minister, as leader.


1) Delury, George E., ed. World Encyclopedia of Political Systems & Parties. Vol. I. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1987.

2) Engelbrekt, Kjell and Gavrilov, Vera. "The Union of Democratic Forces Consolidates Before June Elections." Report on Eastern Europe. Vol. I, Number 22. 1990.

3) International Human Rights Law Group. Preliminary Report on the Upcoming Bulgarian Elections. Washington D.C. 31 May 1990.

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