Plovdiv Judge Nominated for Chief Prosecutor - Report
Seven members of Bulgaria's Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, have nominated Thursday, Sotir Tsatsarov, for the country's new Chief Prosecutor.
The news was reported by the Bulgarian Trud (labor) daily, citing an undisclosed insider source.
The nomination of the Chairman of the Plovdiv Regional Court, Sotir Tsatsarov, 46, is the first one so far.
It had been backed by the former Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Mihail Kozharev, who had been the first one to sign it.
Tsatsarov is rumored to be well-liked by the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and particularly by Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev was nominated for constitutional judge by the President on October 20, 2012, and had to take the oath of office within one week after the October 31 official decree for his appointment.
For this reason, he submitted his resignation one week ago before the Supreme Judicial Council, VSS. The resignation was approved unanimously.
The deadline to launch the procedure for electing the country's new Chief Prosecutor was November 23, because under the law the procedure must be open no earlier than 6 months and no later than 3 months after the term of the Chief Prosecutor expires.
Meanwhile, Boyko Naydenov, just reelected by VSS as Head of Bulgaria's National Investigation Services, has been appointed Bulgaria's interim Chief Prosecutor after Velchev's last week resignation. He hinted he is inclined to enter the race for Chief Prosecutor.
Other names, mentioned as possible candidates, include Velchev's Deputy, Galina Toneva, and the Sofia City Prosecutor, Nikolay Kokinov.
VSS also decided Thursday on the rules for electing the Chief Prosecutor, stirring suspicions that the strong lobby backing Tsatsarov had tailored them especially for him in an attempt to secure his post.
In order to be elected, a candidate needs 17 votes from VSS members.
However, as the Bulgarian site Mediapool notes, the balance between the members shows that Tsatsarov would have a great chance if his nomination is to be voted first and separately from all others.
In order, the play this scenario, the majority in VSS had eliminated the traditional ballot vote and had decided to introduce electronic voting, Mediapool informs.
The ballot vote makes it known how each VSS member has voted for each candidate. In the electronic vote, each nomination is voted separately, revealing the number of those for and against before the next nomination is to be placed for election.
On top of the above, VSS have decided that when one nomination collects the required 17 "for," the others would not be voted at all, along with not using the alphabetical order of the names of the candidates, but the order of the submission of their concepts.
The Chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassations, Lazar Gruev, had voiced the strongest criticism of the new rule to introduce electronic voting in the election of the new Chief Prosecutor, precisely on grounds the ballots would show how everyone had voted for all nominations.
With the new rules, VSS opened the procedure to elect the new Chief Prosecutor, while the actual vote will be held in mid-December.
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