Bulgarian Socialist Head Admits to Disagreeing with President-Elect on Judicial Reform
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) leader Korneliya Ninova has acknowledged her disagreement with President-elect Rumen Radev, backed by her party, on how a key reform to the judicial system should proceed.
"We have a different notion about how things would happen," she has told private bTV broadcaster in an interview.
"Mr Radev has voiced a position which is not hours... What matters is that we talk to each other on this."
In one of the televised debates before the presidential election, which he won by a wide margin, Radev called for a "Romanian-style" anti-corruption directorate to be set up in Bulgaria if the judiciary is to be reformed in a successful manner.
He even argued his first state visit would be to Romania so that he could make himself familiar with the agency, the DNA. The President-elect had also made no secret of intentions to fight for a reduction of the political influence on the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS).
A judicial reform package was agreed in Bulgaria last year, prompting then Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov to resign citing insufficient will among lawmakers to embrace all his proposals.
The BSP has been traditionally seen by judicial reform supporters as one of the "status quo" parties that put a brake on the changes.
Korneliya Ninova added in her interview with bTV that her party would not seek to propose ministers' names to Radev if the latter had to create a new interim government.
If no majority is formed by the current Parliament, incumbent President Rosen Plevneliev will have to make a new caretaker cabinet. Radev, however, will hold the right to overhaul it upon assuming duties in January.
Ninova also sought to fend off claims that Radev's candidacy had been consulted with Moscow officials.
Late in November, Russian military official Leonid Reshetnikov told satellite broadcaster TV+ in November he had met Ninova in August and had discussed the prospective nomination of Radev as the socialist-backed presidential candidate.
Reshetnikov, however, was in Bulgaria on August 25 and Radev's prospective candidacy could not have been discussed with him at the time as it had already been raised by the BSP weeks earlier.
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