Bulgaria Ex Caretaker IntMin 'Nominated Head of Military Intelligence'
Yordan Bakalov, a former interim Interior Minister, is Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's proposal to take over the Defense Information Service, media sources say.
Bakalov, who served under caretaker PM Georgi Bliznashki in August-November 2014, was a lawmaker from the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS, now part of the Reformist Bloc) in a number of legislatures in the 1990s and 2000s. During his mandates Bakalov oversaw the work of the Interior Ministry and secret services.
Reformist Bloc sources as well as officials from the Defense Information service itself, reportedly confirmed the nomination for Darik.
Earlier this week Bulgaria's Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev dismissed Veselin Ivanov as Director of the Defense Information Service, the military intelligence agency.
Nenchev the cited a dispute between the two over "human resources" at the service. The Defense Minister has recently expressed his concern at the fact that some 39 percent of the service's high-profile management was appointed before 1991, in the Communist era. In Nenchev's words, it is also vital to achieve greater interoperability with NATO structures.
Bulgaria's Defense Act currently allows a Defense Minister to appoint the military intelligence's head without putting forward his nomination at the Council of Ministers.
The move comes against the background of reshuffles at the Interior Ministry (its Chief Secretary Svetlozar Lazarov resigned) and the domestic security and counter-intelligence body DANS, whose Chairman Vladimir Pisanchev also resigned.
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