Ex Bulgarian Ruling Party MP Lashes Out against GERB 'Snooping, Racketeering'
Ivan Petrov, MP in Bulgaria's last Parliament from former ruling GERB party, has voiced strong criticisms against anti-democratic practices which according to him are rampant in the party.
Petrov has thus joined fellow ex MP Emil Dimitrov and former Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov in an attack against GERB ahead of the May 12 early general elections.
Petrov, who was vice-chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Control over the State Agency for National Security (DANS), strongly objected to a percieved hard control on the part of GERB vice-chair and then vice-PM and Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov over GERB's MPs, which allegedly included spying over their public and private conversations.
In an interview for the Pressa daily, the former MP also told of what he called "racketeering" practices over voters and businesses outside capital Sofia.
"From what I have heard from business people, it is very probable that Tsvetan Tsvetanov has engaged in filling GERB's 'black coffers' by racketeering local firms," said Petrov.
He also said that sources from Bulgaria's police have chronically told him that officers have lost respect for Tsvetanov over what they felt was his unprofessional and self-serving approach in managing the Interior Ministry.
"The biggest problem is wiretapping. An investigation must be done on the use of special surveillance devices - their use on journalists, politicans from the oppositions, and also fellow party members," said Petrov.
"As MPs, we have many times received warnings to be careful in what we're saying. How do you interpret directives such as "Well, we heard some things..." or "Beware, those things are not pleasant..."?"
According to the former MPs, the Ministry of Interior employed surveillance units to snoop on MPs both around Parliament and near their homes.
Petrov said he fell off with Tsvetanov over the latter's ties to the businessman Todor Boyadzhiev.
Boyadzhiev was implicated in the former minister's shady acquisition of a number of attractive apartments, as well as in an end of 2012 scandal with construction in a protected area on the Black Sea coast near the resort town of Nessebar.
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