Bulgaria's Caretaker PM to Interfere in Illegal Ballots Scandal Only if Govt Officials Held Liable
Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Marin Raykov has vowed to interfere if the pre-trial proceedings uncover violations concerning the public procurement contract for the printing of the ballots for the May 12 general elections and government officials can be held liable.
In a Wednesday media statement, Raykov, as cited by Sega daily, commented on the press conference of Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov held earlier the same day on the May 11 overnight raid at the Multiprint printing house in Kostinbrod where 350 000 illegal ballots were discovered.
Raykov emphasized that it was essential to clarify who could be held to account for what stage of the violations.
He noted that it was important to define the extent of liability in order to dispel doubts that somebody had sought to deliberately distort the election process.
"It became clear that the caretaker government had fulfilled its commitment in line with the existing election legislation" he stated.
Raykov claimed that Tsatsarov had been adamant in stating that the breach of electoral silence on the so-called day of reflection by certain media outlets had violated people's rights to a certain extent, as well as the fact that some political parties had taken advantage of the situation to commit violations on their own.
Bulgaria's caretaker Prime Minister added that he was impatient to hear the final pronouncement of the Central Electoral Commission on the matter.
Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov stated earlier Wednesday that the government had failed to exercise any control over the Kostinbrod-based printing house.
The 350 000 illegally printed ballots, allegedly, were to be used to manipulate the vote in the early general elections on Sunday, May 12, to turn the results in favor of the centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.
The questionable ballots were seized on May 10 from the premises of Multiprint, the company commissioned by the government to print the official election ballots. The company had to print and deliver all ballots to the district administrations by May 8.
Bulgarians went to the polls on May 12 to elect a new Parliament after the center-right government of former GERB Prime Minister Boyko Borisov resigned on February 20 amid nationwide anti-poverty and corruption protests.
The election campaign was accompanied by serious scandal involving alleged unauthorized deployment of special surveillance equipment during Tsvetan Tsvetanov's term in office as Interior Minister.
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