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Bulgarian Parliament replaces vice-premier over public anger

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Bulgarian Parliament has approved the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov after a month of street protests over his remarks about disabled people.

In a 116-62 vote on Wednesday, the chamber approved Simeonov’s resignation and elected Mariana Nikolova to replace him.

Simeonov stepped down last Friday after continuing protests by mothers of disabled children, whom he had called “shrill women with allegedly sick children.”

Simeonov was in charge of economic and demographic policy in the center-right government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov that took office in May 2017. He is also one of the leaders of an alliance of three nationalist parties that together form the junior coalition partner in the government.

Nikolova, a lawyer, was Simeonov’s chief of staff.

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