Bulgarian Supreme Magistrates Accept Senior ResignationsDomestic | June 9, 2011, Thursday // 13:30| views
The Chair of the Supreme Court of Cassations, Lazar Gruev, says civilized dialogue and tone between institutions are the foundation of statesmanship. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
Bulgarian Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) accepted Thursday the resignations of Kapka Kostova and Galina Zaharova.
The two submitted their resignations as VSS members on Wednesday. They will be reinstated at their previous positions as judges at the Supreme Court of Cassations and Sofia Appellate Court, respectively.
The magistrates at VSS did not vote on the grounds a resignation is an act of personal will and cannot be denied.
"I hope this is truly a personal choice. But if it is, it means the two are part of a scenario against the State – in a difficult moment the country must unite, not divide further," magistrate Ivan Kolev, from VSS, is quoted saying.
Justice Minister, Margarita Popova, appealed to VSS to be the institution symbolizing citizens' trust in the judicial system.
The Chair of the Supreme Court of Cassations, Lazar Gruev, said he did not expect more resignations at VSS, adding the resignations were a dignified act.
Gruev refused to comment on recent statements of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, he and Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev, have been appointed at their posts because they have been advisors of President, Georgi Parvanov, pointing out he had a lot to say, but "civilized dialogue and tone between institutions are the foundation of statesmanship."
When asked if he had information the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party had pressured members of VSS, Velchev replied he could not speak on behalf of all of them, but he, personally, had never been pressured, adding Kostova's and Zaharova's resignations were a "big loss."
With the move, Kostova and Zaharova joined two other senior judges in resigning in protest against controversial judiciary appointments.
The Deputy Chair of the Sofia City Court, Velichka Tsanova, resigned on June 7. A judge with extensive experience, she was temporarily in charge of the Court, and was among the candidates to become its permanent head, receiving written support from a number of judges.
At the end of May, however, VSS selected Vladimira Yaneva for the post. Yaneva, who has eight years of experience, four of them on maternity leave, admitted a little bit later, she is close to the family of Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
The admission triggered the first resignation - of Dushana Zdravkova, a judge at the Regional Court in the Black Sea capital Varna and former Member of the European Parliament from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party.
Zdravkova, in a written statement, said one of the reasons for her decision was precisely Yaneva's election.
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