Bulgarian GERB MPs Deny Conflict of Interest, Will Pay Fine

Politics » DOMESTIC | July 14, 2011, Thursday // 12:28
Bulgarian GERB MPs Deny Conflict of Interes, Will Pay Fine: Bulgarian GERB MPs Deny Conflict of Interest, Will Pay Fine For the very first time, a Bulgarian Court ruled that 2 MPs have committed conflict of interests. File photo

The two Members of the Parliament from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party, who have been found by the Court to be in conflict of interest deny any guilt.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) ruled that GERB MPs, Dimitar Avramov and Stoyan Gyuzelev, have committed conflict of interest by proposing and voting on first reading amendments for their personal benefit to the Land Act.

The rule was issued in March, 2011, by a 3-member VAS panel, and was confirmed a day ago by a 5-member one.

The controversial amendments in question, was proposed in 2010 together with Desislava Taneva, also from GERB, to the Agricultural Land Ownership Act. According to the amendments, which were not passed, owners of land would be mandated to offer their property for sale first to their tenant farmers, and the latter would have the right to determine the price.

The 2 GERB MPs are sanctioned with a fine of BGN 5 000 each. They are protected by the Constitution from removal from the Parliament.

Avramov and Gyuzelev said Thursday they did not feel guilty, but would not comment the rule and will simply pay the fine.

"The law was unfair to land owners. With the amendments we wanted that every one of them had at least two potential clients. Now they have one," Avramov pointed out.

According to Gyuzelev, there has been much talk about changing the Land Act in the last 20 years, and their proposal had been the one way to do it.

Both say this proposal has no legal consequences since it was never passed and vowed to continue their good work in the area of agriculture legislation. Avramov joked that from now on he would only make proposals in the health care and cultural heritage sectors.

Such Court rule is the first one since 2009, when the special Conflict of Interest Act became effective, the most notorious case being the VAS exoneration of conflict of interest of the leader of the ethnic Turkish party, DPS, Ahmed Dogan, for pocketing BGN 1.5 M in consulting fees.

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Tags: conflict of interests, fine, dimitar avramov, stoyan gyuzelev, MPs, GERB, legislation, conflict of interest, Conflict of Interest Act

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