Pressure Piles on Bulgaria President over Saddam Money ScandalDomestic | November 16, 2009, Monday // 17:34| views
The right-wing party Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) has threatened to demand the impeachment of President Parvanov (pictured) over Saddam money allegations. Photo by BGNES
Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov is facing rising pressure over allegations that the Socialist Party he headed in the late 1990s has received money from Saddam Hussein.
The leader of the right-wing party Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) Ivan Kostov presented on Monday to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov a letter, which allegedly proves that President Georgi Parvanov asked the former Iraqi dictator for help.
Kostov has urged the new center-right government to demand all documentation about the UN “Oil for Food” program from the Iraqi government in order to find out whether Parvanov was involved in any illegal dealings in the late 1990s.
"Ivan Kostov demanded that the government check the necessary documents and find out whether they feature the signature of President Georgi Parvanov," Borisov told journalists after the meeting.
The right-wing party Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) has threatened to demand the impeachment of President Parvanov over Saddam money allegations.
The Iraqi money scandal first broke in Febuary 2004 when surviving records of Hussein's regime revealed that the Bulgarian Socialist Party have received 12 million barrels of oil in 1998 - worth about USD 250 M at the time - as a "gift" from Saddam.
The information was provided by the Baghdad-based newspaper Al-Mada, which published the names of more than 200 individuals and organizations in more than 40 countries who are alleged to have received oil payoffs from Saddam Hussein in exchange for their support.
The list was believed to represent just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of showing how Saddam used his petroleum and cash to purchase friends and favors.
Current Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, who headed the Socialist Party at the time, denied the charge, terming it "inappropriate black humor."
The Oil for Food program amounted to a total of USD 67 B in the period of 1996-2003. Its aim was to procure humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people by alleviating the effect on them of the UN sanctions imposed on the country after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.
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