This is not only a problem of the social inequalities themselves. The most serious legacy of the totalitarian system is the blocking of access to certain social positions. The removal of access to a given status within the family clans and corporate interests has in essence compromised the effectiveness of the democratic political system. Proclaimed democracy cannot hide the trend towards the construction of an oligarchic style of political system.

During the weeks of active protests in Bulgaria, the group of "new losers" appeared alongside those who lost their income and status as a result of political and economic transformation. These are the young people who already know that their lives will continue to develop in the same way as it has until now. The lack of any social or life prospects, the profound collective feeling of a loss of directed and shared meaning in life has turned this protest into an uprising against everything and everyone. The protest was unable to articulate a single achievable demand. Unfamiliarity with the mechanisms of civil control and participation led to demands for a change of the entire system. The fear of a complete loss of life prospects turned into aggression not only against the ruling class which withdrew from power, but against all political parties.

A new opportunity has appeared to extend democracy, to revive public debate outside the corporate regulation of the media environment. This new challenge has provided the disillusioned with a new meaning in civil participation. This also may provide new opportunities for the quality of democracy in Bulgaria. What is most important now is for civil participation to continue after the elections. The sustainability of the civil cause lies at the very foundation of the campaign to overturn the trends towards oligarchic rule. However, if after the results of the preliminary elections the willingness of the citizens to participate in determining their own destiny wanes, it may be very possible that Bulgaria will have lost out on another chance for democracy.

POLITICS

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