Junior Coalition Partner ABV Demands Debate on Judicial Reform

Politics » DOMESTIC | December 23, 2014, Tuesday // 19:14
Bulgaria: Junior Coalition Partner ABV Demands Debate on Judicial Reform Deputy chairman of Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV) Rumen Petkov. Photo: BGNES/EPA

ABV, the junior partner in Bulgaria's coalition government has demanded a debate with the participation of the three branches of power on the issues of judicial reform.

Former President and leader of Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV) Georgi Parvanov demanded that this debate should take place in the first days of the new year, electronic daily Dnevnik reports.

Deputy-chairman of ABV Rumen Petkov said on Tuesday that the updated version of the Strategy for judicial reform has been published only electronically – on the website of the Justice Ministry.

In his words there was an idea that the documents should be discussed in the parliamentary committees after January 12 and adopted by Parliament on January 18.

According to Petkov, such a strategic document should be carefully deliberated in Parliament for more than three days.

ABV is in need of broad institutional, public and political discussion on the problems of the judicial reform.

Otherwise citizens were left with the impression that key changes are made primarily on the eve of the issue of monitoring reports from Brussels.

Petkov pointed out that the understanding of ABV was that reforms have to be made with the participation of the citizens.

In his words, the version which is proposed at the moment is full with unclear texts and raises more questions than providing answers.

According to Petkov, the document proposes that the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) has to meet at sessions, rather than sit permanently, and to be aided in its work by special commissions.

The other proposed idea is to solidify the parliamentary quota in VSS.

In Petkov's view, the election to VSS should take place from the professional quotas.

He stated that the draft strategy lacked solutions for the improvement of cadre politics and did not spell out concrete commitments on attestation.

Petkov added that there is no mention on the development and organisation of the functioning of the National Investigative Service (NSS).

In his words an assessment on the current state of the judicial system is also lacking.

According to Petkov, if the strategy is adopted quickly, without debate and analysis, this will be a heavy mistake with heavy consequences for the judicial system.

ABV demands that the strategy should be accompanied by a plan for implementation, financial explanation and clearly motivated expectations.

Asked on the relations in the governing coalition and the style of governance, Petkov assured that the withdrawal of support from the cabinet is not on ABV's agenda.

He said that key texts could not be tabled in Parliament without having been discussed in the format established by the cabinet, pointing to the adoption of the controversial changes to pension insurance contributions, which were approved in Parliament with the support of GERB and DPS.

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Tags: Bulgaria, politics, coalition government, GERB, ABV, DPS, Georgi Parvanov, Rumen Petkov, debate, discussion, judicial reform, pension insurance, VSS, NSS
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