A man put a gun to the head of Ahmed Dogan, the leader of Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party, during a televised conference in Sofia.
Ahmed Dogan, leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), was unharmed and the unidentified man was wrestled to the ground by security guards.
The incident happened on Saturday at a party congress in the capital Sofia.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the attacker tried to fire two shots but “most likely the gun misfired”.
He also said the assailant had a criminal record for drugs possession, robberies and hooliganism.
A man put a gun to the head of Ahmed Dogan, the leader of Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party, during a televised conference in Sofia
Police arrested the attacker, a 25-year-old from the Black Sea town of Burgas, who was also carrying two knives.
The liberal MRF party represents ethnic Turks and other Muslims, who make up about 12% of Bulgaria’s population of about seven million.
Ahmed Dogan, 58, has lead the party for almost 25 years. He returned to the party conference a few hours after the attack and was given a standing ovation.
President Rosen Plevneliev said in a statement: “Bulgarian society is traditionally known for its tolerance, mutual acceptance and respect between different ethnic groups and religions.
“Such an act is unacceptable in a democratic state.”
Attacks on politicians are rare in Bulgaria, but in 1996, former Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov was found shot dead near his home in Sofia.
Bulgarian police have released a composite image of the suspected suicide bomber who killed five Israeli tourists and a local driver on a bus on 18 July.
The bomber, who blew up a bus in the Black Sea resort of Burgas, has not been identified yet.
Forensic experts created the image of a dark-haired man with pale skin. The bomber’s head was found at the scene.
Bulgarian police have released a composite image of the suspected suicide bomber in Burgas
Police suspect that he entered Bulgaria in June and had accomplices.
But Bulgaria has declined to back Israeli claims that Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah played a role.
As well as those killed, dozens of people were wounded in the blast.
Shortly after the bombing, Bulgarian authorities released CCTV images of the suspected bomber, but they appeared to contrast with some witness descriptions.
So far no match has been found in international databases for the fingerprints and DNA samples taken after the bombing.
Explosion of a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the eastern Bulgarian city of Burgas has killed at least seven people, Israeli officials say.
More than 30 people were also injured when the bus exploded at Burgas airport, by the Black Sea.
Witnesses told Israeli TV that someone boarded the bus and a huge explosion immediately followed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later accused Iran of being behind the explosion.
“All the signs lead to Iran,” he said in a statement.
“Israel will respond forcefully to Iranian terror.”
More than 30 people were also injured when the bus exploded at Burgas airport
The Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement: “There are six bodies on the scene – one critically wounded died at the hospital and two seriously injured are in intensive care. Thirty more people are being treated.”
It said the bus was carrying tourists from a charter flight that arrived from Israel.
Wednesday’s blast came on the 18th anniversary of a deadly attack on a Jewish community centre in Argentina. Israel blamed Iran for that attack – a claim denied by Tehran.
Israeli officials said passengers from a Tel Aviv-Burgas flight boarded the bus shortly after 17:00 local time.
“We don’t know if it was a terror attack. We do know it was an explosion,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
Two buses standing nearby were also damaged.
“I arrived at the airport about half-an-hour after the explosion, and saw three buses completely burnt out – just the metal bars were left,” Bulgarian journalist Dobromir Dovkacharov said.
“There were crowds of people around, very distressed. One man said he saw decapitated heads. Others spoke of body parts flying through the air,” he added.
More than 40 people are reported to have been on the bus. Local officials say the death toll could rise further.
Burgas airport has now been closed and flights are being diverted to Varna.
In January there were reports that Israel had asked Bulgaria to tighten security for Israeli tourists travelling by bus.
This followed a reported discovery of a suspicious package found on a bus with Israeli tourists travelling from Turkey to Bulgaria.
Israeli tourists have been targeted in attacks in a number of countries around the world.