Alexandar Stambolisky


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(b. 1 Mar. 1879, d. 14 June 1923).

Prime Minister of Bulgaria 1919–23 Born in Slavoviza, the son of a wealthy peasant family went to study agriculture in Germany. Upon his return he became head of the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union in 1908, gaining a seat in parliament. He was imprisoned in 1915, but in 1918 the powerful, populist leader was released in the hope that he might be able to contain growing army unrest. With the more traditional forces discredited, his party polled 31 per cent at the elections of August 1919, whereupon he became Prime Minister. He established effectively a one‐party agrarian state which discriminated heavily against urban dwelling areas, e.g. through severe property restrictions. Despite his success in gaining relatively light terms of punishment at the Paris Peace Conference, he was none the less opposed by many right‐wing and military groups for allowing the reduction in the size of the army. They also opposed his efforts to improve relations with Yugoslavia, which had just taken control of Macedonia, and with Communist Soviet Russia. On 9 June 1923 he was deposed in a right‐wing coup. Five days later he was discovered in hiding, and brutally murdered, his severed head being sent to the capital, Sofia, in a cake tin.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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