Bulgaria's Judicial Council to Seek Election Court of Cassation Chair Thursday
The Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) is to make another attempt at electing a Chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) on Thursday.
Lozan Panov (currently a judge at the Supreme Court of Administration) and Pavlina Panova (Deputy Chair of the VKS) are the two candidates, with Panov having resubmitted his bid after an accident had pushed him to withdraw, prompting speculations of political pressure.
For Panova, this is not the first time to run. The last attempt to elect a Chair of VKS failed after none of the two nominees, Panova and Tanya Raykovska, summoned 17 votes in favor. Raykovska was later appointed ad interim.
The former VKS Chair Lazar Gruev vacated the office on November 21, 2014.
Following a proposal of the VSS, a VKS Chair is appointed and dismissed by the President.
The judicial council has to elect him with more than 2/3 of the votes of the panel, or 17 votes, for a 7-year term in office.
Lazar Gruev was elected VKS Chair on November 9, 2007 and was appointed VKS Chair with a presidential decree issued later the same month.
The Supreme Court of Cassation includes 85 judges, each of them with more than 15 years of experience in judicial affairs.
Thursday's election will be aired live by the Bulgarian National Television.
Bulgarian Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov, who has to chair the VSS sitting in case of high-profile elections, is not in the country, since he is attending a EU ministerial meeting in Latvian capital Riga. Sonya Naydenova, who is the chief representative of the VSS, is presiding over the session instead.
Under Bulgaria's Constitution, the Supreme Court of Cassation is the top judicial institution on civil and penal cases throughout the country.
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