Head of 'Unruly' State Polling Agency Sacked in Bulgaria
The Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament, Mihail Mikov, has fired Lidiya Yordanova, Director of the State polling agency NCIOM.
The move comes two weeks after Mikov threatened to shut down Bulgaria's National Center for Study of Public Opinion (NCIOM).
The news about the dismissal was reported Wednesday by the Bulgaria Pressa (Press) daily.
Yordanova was fired on grounds the agency paid BGN 211 879 to people who have not been its employees. The probe has established that relatives of the pollsters had been hired to conduct polls by asking questions to respondents, while pollsters obtained pay both under permanent and part-time labor contracts.
Pressa further reports that nine other NCIOM employees will be fired after the Parliament resumes work in the fall. Another four will be given jobs in the new Agency for Assessment of Legislation.
The conclusions of the probe had been sent to the Prosecutor's Office.
NCIOM was established in October 1989, with a decree of the Politbureau of the Bulgarian Communist Party, just one month before the fall of the Communist regime.
It was intended as an organization with the Parliament and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) to conduct systematic and/or snap polls among the population on most current national and international events; to monitor the public and political climate in the country; to issue forecasts on expected changes in it and in the mass conduct of people to be used to solve problems in society and politics.
Meanwhile, Tuesday marked the 68th consecutive day of rotests against Bulgaria's government. The rallies were prompted by a series of highly controversial appointments and wider concerns about corruption.
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