Sexual Harassment Scandal Rattles Bulgarian Political PartyDomestic | November 5, 2010, Friday // 14:52| views
MP Velikov (right) has been expelled from the RZS party; pictured here with his colleague Emil Vasilev, who is a major figure in the party. Photo by BGNES
The Bulgarian conservative party RZS (Order, Law, Justice) has expelled one of its top members who backed the accusations of a young male activist that the party leader Yane Yanev harassed him sexually.
Todor Velikov, now former organizational secretary of the party, was expelled for "damaging the prestige of the party, being financially dependent, spreading libel, and systematic leaking of intra-party information" to the ruling party GERB and the ethnic Turkish party DPS.
The expulsion comes after at the end of October Velikov, who is a MP from RZS, himself declared that he froze his membership in the party and resigned from his party post because of the scandal in which Svetoslav Stefanov, the party coordinator for Southeastern Bulgaria, complained of constant sexual harassment by the RZS leader Yane Yanev.
Later on Friday, Velikov himself said he quit the party himself. He refuted claims that he had large-scale debts, amounting to BGN 3 M, or that other political parties have pressured him to hurt the RZS party.
"I am leaving RZS because the party has a leadership problem," the MP said.
He explained that the party leader had made him to go to the parliamentary office of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and to sign a demand for an investigation of the income of Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
"I am a right-winger, and I don't like this hug with the Socialists," Velikov said.
He further declared that the SMS Text Messages sent by the party leader Yanev to Svetoslav Stefanov with sexual demands must be published as soon as possible.
In the last general elections in Bulgaria the RZS party won about 5% of the votes, making to the Parliament with 10 of the 240 seats. Initially, it supported the GERB party government. Subsequently, however, several of its MPs deserted it either joining GERB or become independents, which left RZS below the minimum required number of MPs to have a parliamentary group, ushering the party into a vigorous campaign against the government, PM Borisov, and Interior Minister Tsvetanov.
The RZS party has demonstrated readiness to admit former undercover agent Aleksei Petrov who is under investigation for organized crime.
Back in 2009, a senior leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Rumen Ovcharov, suggested at a party conference that "RZS" was a "political engineering project" of the Socialists aimed at creating a friendly political formation in the rightist political spectrum.
We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!