GERB's Gerdzhikov Elected Chair of Sofia City Council

Domestic | January 12, 2012, Thursday // 12:12|  views

The newly-elected head of the Sofia City Council Elen Gerdzhikov (right) chatting happily with his predecessor Andrey Ivanov (left), who resigned amidst embezzlement accusations. Photo by BGNES

Elen Gerdzhikov, a municipal councilor from the ruling center-right party GERB has been elected to chair the City Council in the Bulgarian capital Sofia after his predecessor, Andrey Ivanov, resigned amidst embezzlement allegations.

Gerdzhikov clinched the post with the votes of 39 out a total 61 councilors; he was elected in a secret ballot, with only 42 out of 55 present councilors cast their votes, while the representatives of the Bulgarian Socialist Party boycotted the election. The other three councilors who voted cast empty ballots.

The ruling party GERB has a total of 33 city councilors in Sofia, and Gerdzhikov needed 31 votes to get elected; his bid was also supported by some representatives of the rightist Blue Coalition.

He already stated that his priority for 2012 will be the municipal budget.

Elen Gerdzhikov was born in 1972. He graduated from Sofia University with a major in Philosophy and later obtained a Master's Degree in Political Science. Until now he was a member of the Permanent Committee for Economic Policy and Municipal Property and of the Permanent Committee for Finance and Budget at the City Hall. He has become the youngest person ever to chair the Sofia City Council.

Andrey Ivanov resigned early on Wednesday. Ivanov explained that he was sick and tired of the allegations that have surrounded him over the past four years.

Over one year ago, Ivanov was accused of illegally acquiring a number of properties worth a total of BGN 10 M, having excessive amounts of real estate and dealing with murky figures. He firmly denies all allegations.

Ivanov, who is believed to have been involved in major corruption schemes, is closely linked with the country's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov.

On November 8, Ivanov was reelected as Chair of the Sofia Municipal Council in a secret vote, with 39 votes in favor, and won against the other top contender for the post - municipal councilor from the opposition, left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party and candidate for mayor of Sofia, Georgi Kadiev.

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Tags: Georgi Kadiev, Bulgarian Socialist Party, GERB, Andrey Ivanov, sofia, Sofia Municipal Council, SOS, Andrey Ivanov, Sofia City Council, Blue Coalition, embezzlement, resignation


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