GERB Set to Replace Bulgarian Interior Ministry's Chief Secretary

Politics » DOMESTIC | November 14, 2014, Friday // 09:59
Bulgaria: GERB Set to Replace Bulgarian Interior Ministry's Chief Secretary Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the Interior Minister in GERB's previous (2009-2013) government. Photo by BGNES

Chief Secretary Svetlozar Lazarov "has no qualities" to take the post at Bulgaria's Interior Ministry, a former head of the institution says.

Former Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told public broadcaster BNT that Lazatov's appointment by the previous Parliament had been "a misunderstanding".

The Lyaskovets shooting (in which a police commando died during a special operation in March) and other developments are a proof the decision Lazarov should assume the position was only a "political" one, he claimed.

Tsvetanov, GERB's Deputy Chair and head of the party's Parliament group, reminded the Chief Secretary might be replaced after legal amendments.

The main ruling party submitted Thursday draft legislation proposing changes to the Interior Ministry Act.

Under the new requirements, if approved, the Chief Secretary could be dismissed for not meeting conditions to assume office which include ten years of experience in agencies maintaining public order or security, with at least half of that time spent at a senior position.

Lazarov does meet some of the requirements having worked at the State Agency for National Security (DANS) since 2002 (when it had a different name), but does not comply with the latter criteria even though he headed a department at the agency.

The Interior Ministry Act was amended last year by the then-ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) just at the beginning of their tenure.

Their bills changed the way the Interior Ministry's Chief Secretary is appointed, transferring the right to put forward a candidacy from the President to the Council of Ministers.

With the new draft legislation GERB are now seeking to reverse the changes.

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Tags: Lyaskovets shooting, GERB, Svetlozar Lavarov, BSP, DPS, Interior Ministry Act, DANS, Tsvetan Tsvetanov
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