Bulgaria Opposition Demands New Rules for Disclosing Names of Ex-Security Agents

Politics » DOMESTIC | January 28, 2016, Thursday // 14:25
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Opposition Demands New Rules for Disclosing Names of Ex-Security Agents The BSP's Tasko Ermenkov says the so-called Files Committee is carrying out inspections on an "absurd" number of people. Photo: BGNES

The biggest opposition party of Bulgaria submitted a bill that would change the procedure of disclosing affiliation of Bulgarian citizens to the Soviet-era security services and the military intelligence.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on Thursday proposed that the archive of the so-called Committee for Disclosing the Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens to the State Security, also known as the Files Committee, should be handed over to a new institution called Institute for National Memory.

New rules should be established preventing the institute from disclosing affiliation to State Security (DS) without the person's consent and without bearing the obligation to make the result public, the BSP believes.

It should be left to "legislative, executive and judicial" institutions, alongside political parties to demand inspections into the affiliation of people who run in elections or are appointed to public offices. Civic and professional organizations should also have the competence to demand inspections of their members.

The Files Committee was set up in 2007 and ever since has published long lists of politicians, intellectuals and other prominent names who were affiliated to DS.

The security services, comprising both intelligence and counter-intelligence structures, are thought to have acted sometimes without oversight even from the leadership of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP), which ruled Bulgaria from the mid-1940s to the end of the 1980s.

The committee's revelations have enjoyed wide public interest despite criticism for its selection of people who are subject to inspection.

Tasko Ermenkov, a socialist MP, however explained it was high time for historians to deal with history, instead of letting politicians to write it.

He also warned the scope of people whose affiliation to DS is looked up has expanded to "absurd levels".

The socialist party's spokesperson Atanas Merdzhanov accused the Files Commission of having contributed to nothing but "scandals" for its nine-year existence.

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Tags: Files Committee, Tasko Ermenkov, Atanas Merdzhanov, BSP, BKP, State Security, DS
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