Bulgaria PM, GERB Leader: There Are No Sacred Cows

Domestic | July 8, 2010, Thursday // 10:11|  views

“I personally asked them [Nova TV] not only to air the reportage, but also to say he tried to meddle in their work,” Boyko Borisov said, referring to Lachezar Ivanov. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who came to power last summer on promises to clamp down on the criminal underworld and on corruption in the public service, has voiced determination to punish all who step back on these vows.

“There is not a single thing that the MPs from my party have done, which has harmed in some way the country. Everyone, who has entered the parliament on the ticket of GERB, should know – if he or she breaks the rules, a dismissal will immediately follow,” Borisov told the morning broadcast of the private TV channel bTV on Thursday.

The comment comes a day after Lachezar Ivanov, deputy parliament speaker and leader of the Sofia unit of the ruling GERB party, was forced to resign after a journalist revealed he tried to prevent a reportage on custom officers from going on air on Nova TV channel.

“I personally asked them [Nova TV] not only to air the reportage, but also to say he tried to meddle in their work,” Borisov said on Thursday.

Asked by the anchor who will be the next GERB member to bear the brunt of his anger, Borisov, visibly irritated, said:

“While I am in power I will be a lonely man. I have no friends and the best example of this is what happened to Lachezar Ivanov.”

Lachezar Ivanov, who was accused by a Bulgarian TV reporter of asserting pressure on the media, resigned under pressure as a Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Chief of the Sofia headquarters of the ruling party GERB, and Chair of the Health Committee.

The scandal with Nova TV is not the first one for Lachezar Ivanov. Last year it was discovered that he had traveled to the USA with the former Health Minister Bozhidar Nanev. They were invited by two NGOs, directed by Rumen Hichev, who is also the Director of the Tissue Bank “Osteotek”. The company has contracts with different hospitals for taking tissues.

Earlier this year, Ivanov was involved in the scandal with the lobbyist amendment to the drug act, which relieved the restrictions on the usage of drugs images in advertising.

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Tags: reportage, customs officers, Nova TV, Health Committee, GERB, Boyko Borisov, Lachezar Ivanov


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