Ex-Head of Bulgaria's State Pollster Appeals Dismissal
Lidiya Yordanova, who was fired as head of Bulgaria's state-owned National Center for Study of Public Opinion (NCIOM) on Wednesday, is appealing her dismissal.
Yordanova was dismissed by Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov on grounds that the agency paid BGN 211 879 to people who have not been its employees.
A probe reportedly established that relatives of the pollsters had been hired to conduct polls by asking questions to respondents, while pollsters obtained pay both under permanent and part-time labor contracts.
In a statement, Yordanova said Thursday she was appealing the move because she "knows herself and what she has done."
She reminded that NCIOM has been conducted specific surveys that are not carried out by ordinary polling agencies.
Mikov had stated that the state-owned pollster was superfluous, arguing that "there are enough polling agencies." He said earlier in August that NCIOM should be closed.
The state-owned opinion research center conducted a poll last month showing that some 60% of Bulgarians back the ongoing anti-government protests in the country. NCIOM also showed in July that the Socialist-endorsed government of Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski had started its term with a record-high 59% disapproval.
NCIOM was established in October 1989, with a decree of the Politbureau of theBulgarian Communist Party, just one month before the fall of the Communist regime. It was intended as an organization with the Parliament and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) to conduct systematic and/or snap polls among the population on most current national and international events; to monitor the public and political climate in the country; to issue forecasts on expected changes in it and in the mass conduct of people to be used to solve problems in society and politics.
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