Socialists Warn Bulgaria's President-Elect, Top Diplomat over 'Constitution Disregard'

Diplomacy | November 24, 2011, Thursday // 18:05|  views

Lyuben Kornezov has condemned the plans of President-Elect Rosen Plevneliev and Foreign Minister to disregard a universally binding decision of the Constitutional Court. Photo by BGNES

Lyuben Kornezov, socialist MP and a former constitutional judge, has condemned the disregard demonstrated by Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov and President-Elect Risen Plevneliev for the newly established unconstitutionality of a set of controversial amendments to Bulgaria's Diplomatic Service Act.

"The decision of the Constitutional Court (KS) cannot get trampled under boots or flip-flops, be it by a future President or by some Foreign Minister," the left-wing MP commented on Thursday.

On Wednesday, KS revoked the amendments to the Diplomatic Service Act banning collaborators of the communist regime's State Security (DS) from taking up key diplomatic posts.

Despite that, President-Elect Rosen Plevneliev confirmed his plans to sign the decree for recalling Bulgarian Ambassadors with DS records first thing in the morning on his first day in office, which outgoing President Georgi Parvanov refused to do.

In a Wednesday statement, Mladenov expressed his regret over the fact that KS had "decided to block the road to cleaning up Bulgaria's image," but nevertheless assured that the decision had no impact on the powers of the government and the President to select the Ambassadors that would represent the country.

Kornezov challenged the statements on Thursday, listing the statutory sanctions for disregard for the Constitution.

"I hope Plevneliev listens to me - first of all, decisions of KS are binding for all Bulgarian citizens and all state organs, including the President. If Plevneliev does not know that, presidential decrees are subject to the control of KS and they will be declared unconstitutional. He may also be unaware of Art. 103 of the Constitution which says that a President who violates the Constitution must be impeached. Perhaps he should not start his tenure with a breach of the Constitution and a non-compliance with a decision of KS" Kornezov told journalists.

"I am addressing Mladenov. I already warned him in Parliament about Art. 4, Para 1 of the Bulgarian Constitution which says that Bulgaria is a is a state committed to the rule of law and the decisions of KS have the power of a law. There is also Art. 172 of the Penal Code, if Mladenov is unaware of it. It envisages up to three years of imprisonment for discrimination against the group of our representatives abroad," the socialist MP warned.

The government, however, will most likely find a legally-sound solution to the problem.

The terms in office of most Ambassadors are running out and some have reached retirement age, which means that their recalls are hardly likely to be based on their ties to the communist regime's secret services.

"All countries in Central and Eastern Europe found the power to leave this past behind. Bulgaria has also found this power and will do it. Unfortunately, as is the case with everything here, it will take more time and will be more difficult. The decision of KS will not change the political will or the plans of the government to turn a new page. This page will be closed once and for all for Bulgaria," Mladenov told Darik Radio on Thursday.

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Tags: Diplomatic Service Act, diplomats, State Security, DS, Lyuben Kornezov, Bulgarian Socialist Party, constitution, Constitutional Court, Rosen Plevneliev, Georgi Parvanov, Ambassadors, Foreign miniser, Nikolay Mladenov


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