Another Presidential Candidate to Be Registered as Independent Runner - Lozan Panov
Lozan Panov, the outgoing president of the Supreme Court of Cassation, has accepted a proposal from the Justice for All Initiative to be nominated as a presidential candidate in the 14 November elections, the non-governmental, non-partisan association said on its website on Saturday.
Panov will run as an independent, and his bid will be handled by a nomination committee to be formed later in the day.
“To us, Lozan Panov has epitomised the law, judicial independence and justice over the last seven years,” Justice for All Chair Velislsav Velichkov said in a BTA interview. “He demonstrated dignity and courage in defending the administration of justice from subservient justice and opposing oligarchic interests in the judiciary.”
“We hope that democratically minded people in this country, who have always stood up for democracy and the rule of law, will identify with this nomination and will see it as an expression of their own dreams and aspirations,” Velichkov said.
Regarding the association's expectations of Panov's role as a future president of Bulgaria, Justice for All Chair said: “We always stress the president's right to initiate amendments to the Constitution, and we believe that such amendments are undoubtedly necessary in the Basic Law's chapter on the judiciary. At least our nomination committee will make this issue a centrepiece of the presidential campaign debate.”
“This nomination already enables all Bulgarian citizens to choose among a wide variety of candidates and messages,” Velichkov commented.
The nomination committee members are people known for their strong civic stance in defence of freedom and democracy and the rule of law, the interviewee said. The committee must be registered by 4 October.
Panov's running mate is unknown for the time being. “It is entirely up to Mr Panov to come up with a nomination for vice president. Still, it will definitely be a non-partisan figure,” Velichkov commented.
Panov's term at the head of the Supreme Court of Cassation expires on 10 February 2022. To be able to enter the presidential race, he must resign as early as next week, the Supreme Judicial Council Plenum must accept the resignation when it meets on 7 October, and the resignation must be decreed by the president and gazetted, so that Panov could meet the 12 October deadline for the registration of candidates.
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