Bulgarian Agrarian National Union - People's Union

(Balgarski zemedelski naroden sayuz, BZNS)

Historical notes: Founded in 1899. Banned from 1934 until 1944. BANU has ruled Bulgaria independently 1920-1923, and in coalition 1919, 1931-34, 1944-45. After 1923, BANU would split many times into various formations which on their part unite and disunite several times. Since 1945 and until 1991 the name of BANU was borne by the political ally to the Bulgarian Communist Party in the Fatherland's Front.

At the end of 1989, BANU "Nikola Petkov" was restored - it was a co-founder of the coalition UDF. The first try to unite the agrarian followers was made in 1991 when a group of parliamentarians from BANU "Nikola Petkov" (within UDF) united with BANU (former communist ally) under the name BANU (united). This union turned out to be unstable because the formation did not make it over the 4% limit for the elections of Oct. 1991. In Nov. 1992, a new unifying congress of BANU (united) and BANU "Nikola Petkov" united the different agrarian wings under the name of BANU.

The last congress of BANU was held in Sept. 1996 and led to a new split in the party. Since 1992, chair of the party has been Mrs Anastasiya Dimitrova-Mozer. Part of the organizations in the country refused to take part in that congress, and in Dec. 1996 held an alternative congress. Chair of this wing is Mr Petko Iliev. This wing preserved the name BANU. Mrs Mozer's wing had to register the party with a new name - Bulgarian Agrarian National Union - People's Union. Both agrarian wings are now in the coalition United Democratic Forces.

BANU is a strongly de-centralized organization, in which greatest authority is delegated to the Governing Council.

Party colours - orange and green. Party emblem - 4-leaved clover. Youth organization - the Agrarian Youth Union (chair Nikolay Vasilev). The party publishes "Zemedelsko zname" (Agrarian Banner) weekly.

In the elections of June 1990, BANU participated independently, and BANU "Nikola Petkov" within UDF, while both the parties had their own representatives in the 7th National Assembly. In the elections of Oct. 13, BANU (united) participated in coalition with the Constitutional Forum, and BANU "Nikola Petkov" independently. In the elections of Dec. 18, 1994, BANU participated in coalition with the Democratic Party under the name of People's Union-BANU, Democratic Party. Since Feb. 1997 BANU is in the coalition United Democratic Forces although the party chair didn't signed the agreement because of the lack of legal registration.

BANU is member of the European Christian Democratic Union.

Address: 1000 Sofia, 1Vrabcha Str. 1; phone +3592-874070