Ex Secret Agent, Ex MEP Nominated for Bulgarian President, VP

Domestic | July 7, 2011, Thursday // 12:44|  views

Former Secret Service Agent and controversial businessman Alexei Petrov is the newly announced presidential nominee of Initiative Committee "Unity and Team Work". Photo by BGNES

Controversial former secret agent Alexei Petrov and former senior judge and ex MEP from Bulgaria's ruling party GERB, Dushana Zdravkova have been nominated to run for President and Vice President in Bulgaria's elections in October 2011.

The presidential bid of Petrov and Zdravkova, who was one of the prominent founders of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's ruling party GERB back in 2006, has been put forth by a group of civil associations and Initiative Committee "Unity and Team Work".

Petrov and Zdravkova, however, have not confirmed formally as of yet that they will run together for the Bulgarian Presidency.

Alexei Petrov, a former employee of the State Agency for National Security (DANS), has figured prominently in Bulgaria's public life since 2008 when he was revealed to be an undercover agent in a scandal involving Bulgaria's former Interior Minister Rumen Petkov who had to resign from the Stanishev Cabinet (2005-2009) as a result.

Under the Borisov Cabinet Alexei Petrov was arrested on February 10, 2010, in a widely publicized special police operation codenamed "Octopus." He was charged with racketeering, money laundering, abetting prostitution, trading in influence and drug trafficking, spent 9 months in jail and was released on house arrest and later on own recognizance.

Dushana Zdravkova is a former Member of the European Parliament (in 2007-2009) from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, and one of the party's founders. In June 2011, she resigned as judge at the Varna District Court in protest against what she termed the manipulated election of a Sofia City Court Chair and against the "attempts to subordinate the constitutionally independent judicial system to the executive".

According to Bulgaria's Election Code, candidates running for elected office no longer enjoy immunity from prosecution, meaning that if Petrov decides to participate in the presidential elections, the trials against him will not be suspended.

In Thursday's media statement, the civil associations and the iniatitive committee quote Petrov and Zdravkova "strongly urge" President Parvanov to convene an emergency meeting of Bulgaria's Consultative Council on National Security, citing the threat of a failure in combating organized crime and corruption as a result of the rude intervention of the executive in the judiciary and the threat of a deepening economic crisis caused by the inadmissible interference of the government in market processes.

On February 01, the Initiative Committee "Unity and Team Work" announced that Alexei Petrov, who was under house arrest at that time, would participate in the presidential race as part of a team consisting of "Associate Professor Alexei Petrov, Associate Professor Nikolay Georgiev and a respectable lady whose name will be revealed later due to fears of repressions".demagogy, the hypocrisy and the arrogance of those in power, which have crossed the tolerance boundary". Hours after Zdravkova's resignation, "Unity and Team Work" invited her to join their ranks.

Prior to that, Petrov had said that he would run for president, provided that Prime Minister Boyko Borisov did that too.

In early June, Dushana Zdravkova, who had played a key role in the creation of GERB, stated in an open letter that she was leaving office because of "the demagogy, the hypocrisy and the arrogance of those in power, which have crossed the tolerance boundary". Hours after Zdravkova`s resignation, "Unity and Team Work" invited her to join their ranks.

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Tags: Alexei Petrov, Dushana Zdravkova, DANS, National Security Agency (DANS), initiative committee, Unity and Teamwork, GERB, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov


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