Bulgarian IntMin to Propose New Chief Secretary Despite PM Warning
Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov is to make his proposals next week, regardless of Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov's assurances that top-level reshuffles are not needed in police and security.
Vuchkov said on Friday in Parliament that he would make his proposals on March 4. He is determined that both the Interior Ministry, Bulgaria's biggest employer, and the counter-intelligence body DANS (State Agency for National Security) need rapid changes to their leadership, according to the website Dnevnik.bg.
Vuchkov has repeatedly pledged to dismiss the two officials.
The issue of replacing Lazarov and other high-level cadres re-emerged after amendments to the Interior Ministry Act were passed in Parliament.
In the past few weeks, after having backed the reshuffles since the election campaign last year, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has made a U-turn in his judgment and is now refusing to embark on any changes.
Borisov said in mid-February that both Lazarov and Vladimir Pisanchev, who has headed DANS since the summer of 2013, were currently doing their job well at the time and the proposed step was unnecessary.
Daily Standart reports that Milen Dimitrov (a local police chief), Deputy Chief Secretary Georgi Kostov and Chief Secretary Svetlozar Lazarov himself are among the nominees.
Lazarov came under harsh criticism last year over a special operation in the Bulgarian town of Lyaskovets which claimed the life of one commando. Expert opinions are however divided over why exactly the operation failed.
The Chief Secretary is the person virtually in charge of running the ministry and working closely with the Interior Minister. Lazarov was appointed by the previous elected socialist-liberal government in 2013.
Both Vuchkov and Tsvetan Tsvetanov, his predecessor in the previous GERB government, insist a new election is needed in Parliament, which Tsvetanov even arguing Lazarov does not have the qualities needed to be Chief Secretary.
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