Bulgarian Opposition Urges President to Block Chief Prosecutor Appointment

December 21, 2012, Friday // 04:49
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Opposition Urges President to Block Chief Prosecutor Appointment
Former Bulgarian EU Commissioner Meglena Kuneva, Photo by BGNES

The oppositional Bulgaria for Citizens party of former EU Commissioner Meglena Kuneva has strongly criticized Thursday's controversial election of a new chief prosecutor by the country's Supreme Judicial Council.

The party has condemned the election procedure as non-transparent, calling upon President Rosen Plevneliev not to appoint the elected chief prosecutor, Plovdiv judge Sotir Tsatsarov.

According to Bulgaria for Citizens member Yonko Grozev, the ruling centrist-right GERB created an illusion of competition and transparency in order to fool the European Commission into believing that there were no wrongdoings in the judiciary.

The party believes that the election's outcome was determined by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov. The formation has pointed out that some Supreme Judicial Council members who had endorsed other candidates ended up voting for Tsatsarov on Thursday.

Bulgaria's highest juridical body elected on Thursday Sotir Tsatsarov to be the new chief prosecutor in a highly predictable move, which opponents claim was orchestrated by the ruling GERB party.

Tsatsarov, up to now head of the Plovdiv District Court, won the position at the first round, with 18 votes "for", 3 "against" and 3 abstentions. He will serve a 7-year term.

His two opponents Thursday were Galina Toneva, Deputy Chief Prosecutor, and Borislav Sarafov, head of the Specialized Appellate Prosecutor's Office.

In a scandalous move, Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva closed the council session before putting to the vote the noninations of Galina Toneva and Borislav Sarafov.

The investigative site Bivol.bg claimed Thursday that Tsatsarov made misleading statements regarding his financial circumstances during a prior hearing.

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