Varna Municipal Councilor Suspected of Vote-Buying Released from Custody
Yanko Stanev, municipal councilor in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna, who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of vote-buying ahead of the July 7 run-off election for Varna Mayor, has been released from custody.
Stanev, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), declared Sunday that his arrest had been unfounded.
"To me, what happened was an unpleasant incident," he stated, expressing hopes that the step would have no political repercussions for the city.
"There have been no charges or evidence and even my lawyers were not acquainted with the materials on which the arrest warrant was based," Stanev claimed.
Some ten people were reported arrested in Varna on suspicion of vote-buying on Saturday, the day of reflection before the second round of the mayoral elections.
Local police declined to comment on the matter in order to prevent a breach of electoral silence.
Stanev has a controversial political career in Varna, according to reports of dnevnik.bg.
He used to be chair of the local unit of the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) party, after which he switched to the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party.
He was dismissed from both parties, due to alleged unprincipled and self-serving actions.
He is said to be a close ally of longtime Varna Mayor Kiril Yordanov, whose resignation in March due to popular discontent led to snap elections in the city.
Bulgaria's coastal city of Varna is holding a run-off election for Mayor on Sunday.
The two candidates for the post are Hristo Bozov, backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), and Ivan Portnih, nominee of center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB).
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