Bulgarian MPs Hastily Approve National Audit Office Members
Lawmakers have approved all members of Bulgaria's Audit Office following a nearly three-hour debate.
With 111 to 80 votes, a total of nine people were appointed and sworn in, despite calls by the opposition that the ruling parties should not embark on such a move in the eve of resignation and early elections.
The National Audit Office's staff will now include Goritsa Grancharova-Kozhareva, Dileta Kasabova-Tokatlyan, Evgenia Penkova-Pantaleeva, Shirin Ismail, Zlatina Ruseva, Mustafa Zankov, Stefka Mihaylova, toma Donchev, Elvan Gyurkash.
Nominees met the approval of the institution's head Lidiya Rumenova, who took the auditing body's top office after being appointed by Parliament on April 30 upon the ruling socialist party's proposal.
Opposition MPs from GERB repeatedly warned against Wednesday's procedure, arguing that such choices were not reasonable against the background of an upcoming parliamentary vote in the next months.
GERB's Menda Stoyanova was quoted by public broadcaster BNR as saying that, after having appointed the Audit Office chief, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) had also used a list of members handed by its "party establishment". Stoyanova thus alleged that the BSP was seeking to defend its interests through installing its cadres into the office.
Lawmakers from the BSP were however also skeptical of their colleagues' decision. Georgi Kadiev, who deposited his resignation as MP after the plenum held by socialists Tuesday to decide on future changes within the party, said he had only joined the session in Parliament to to try to prevent the vote of Audit Office Members from taking place.
Kadiev was firm that it was "not a good thing for an institution to be approved for a seven-year term in that political situation, when we have slipped into a political crisis".
Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov nevertheless defended the move by arguing it would keep institutions operating normally.
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