Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union BAPU
Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union (BAPU)
emerged in December 1899 as an organization of the peasant estate. Its chief aim was originally enlightenment, but in 1905 it constituted itself as a political party of the peasantry. The BAPU program contained several demands that reflected the interests of the toiling peasantry; at the same time, its propaganda greatly emphasized the theory of “independent peasant power,” which prevented an alliance between the working class and the peasantry. The BAPU assumed power during the revolutionary upheaval in Bulgaria caused by World War I and stimulated by the Great October Socialist Revolution. A coalition government was formed in October 1919, and a one-party BAPU government was established in May 1920, with A. Stamboliski as its head. On June 9, 1923, the BAPU government was overthrown by a fascist coup d’etat. After the assassination of Stamboliski in June 1923, the BAPU was under the leadership of reactionary elements for a considerable time. In World War II, part of the BAPU membership joined the Fatherland Front, which was set up in 1942 on the initiative of the Communist Party, and fought alongside the front against German fascism and its Bulgarian confederates. After the victory of the people’s antifascist uprising of Sept. 9,1944, the healthy nucleus of the union did a great deal of work in routing various opposition groups and consolidating the ranks of the BAPU. The new political course of the BAPU was set forth by the decisions of the Twenty-seventh Congress (December 1947) and the Supreme Party Council (November 1948) of the BAPU, which recognized the leading role of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) and defined the political tasks of the BAPU in laying the foundation of socialism in the country. Since that time, the BAPU has been actively participating in the socialist transformation of Bulgarian agriculture. It has statutes but no program of its own, because it believes that its work should follow the program of the BCP. The BAPU has representatives in the agencies of Bulgarian state authority. Its members constitute 100 of the 416 deputies in the National Assembly (1969); the vice-chairman and two ministers of the Council of Ministers are BAPU members, and G. Traikov, secretary of the BAPU, is chairman of the Presidium of the National Assembly, which has four BAPU members. There are four BAPU members in the bureau of the national council of the Fatherland Front. In 1969, 10,000 BAPU members were elected to local people’s councils. The highest agency of the BAPU is the congress, which elects the directing body—the administrative council. The administrative council elects the standing committee of the BAPU, the secretary of the BAPU, and the secretaries of the standing committee. The BAPU has about 114,000 members (January 1969) and publishes the newspaper Zemedelsko zname.
REFERENCESPetrova, D. Bulgarskiiat zemedelski naroden suiuz i narodniiat front
(1934–1939 g.). Sofia, 1967.
Tishev, D. Edinodeistvieto mezhdu komunisti i zemedeltsi ν borbata protiv fashizma. Sofia, 1967.
V. A. GUSEV