Mystery Surrounds Presidential Bid of Bulgarian Ex-Agent Petrov

Domestic | July 7, 2011, Thursday // 16:56|  views

GERB founder, ex-MEP and ex-Varna District Court judge Dushana Zdravkova. Photo by BGNES

Former MEP from Bulgarian ruling center-right GERB party Dushana Zdravkova has refuted an earlier announcement Thursday that she will run as vice-president for controversial businessman and ex-secret agent Alexei Petrov's presidential bid.

Thursday it was reported that the tandem of Petrov and Zdravkova has been nominated by a group of civil associations and the initiative committee "Unity and Team Work."

According to Zdravkova, she will not run as vice-president, and the prior announcement is a product of media misconstrual.

She did not clarify whether Petrov intends to run in the October 23 elections; Petrov himself has not commented on the case yet.

Petrov, who is being tried in a high-profile but apparently unpromising case for heading extensive criminal activities, had announced his desire to run for Bulgaria's president some months ago.

Of late though, his ambition appears to have cooled off, with Petrov himself stating that he will more probably not present his candidacy.

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.

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".

Dushana Zdravkova is a former MEP (2007-9) 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".

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Tags: Presidential elections, elections, GERB, Alexei Petrov, Dushana Zdravkova, DANS, Sergey Stanishev, Boyko Borisov, Boyko Borisov


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