Bulgarian Opposition Rises against Presidential Decrees Probe

Domestic | March 2, 2012, Friday // 16:41|  views

Socialist MP Maya Manolova has reiterated the opposition's concerns about the legality of the ad hoc comittee tasked with examining presidential activities and documents. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

61 MPs from the two major opposition formations – the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the ethnic Turkish party DPS, have asked the Constitutional Court (KS) to rule on the legality of the ad hoc committee created to probe the two terms in office of former President Georgi Parvanov.

The opposition MPs announced Friday that they were about to submit a petition with the KS requesting an interpretation of the Constitutional provisions regulating the competence of the President to grant pardons and to delegate some of the powers to the Vice President,

The ad hoc committee was set up to examine the legal grounds, the facts and the circumstances surrounding the granting of pardons, the cancellation of uncollectible debts to the state and the and the granting, restoration and withdrawal of Bulgarian citizenship during the two terms in office of President Georgi Parvanov and Vice President Angel Marin.

The step came as a result of the reheated debates on the lack of a presidential decree delegating the abovementioned powers to the Vice President for the second term in office.

The ad-hoc committee, chaired by Yane Yanev, leader of the marginal, conservative Order, Law and Justice Party (RZS), was established despite its questionable capacity to inspect activities of the head of state, who is elected directly by the people.

In a bid to sidestep the criticism, the goal of the ad-hoc committee was re-worded, but MPs from BSP, DPS and nationalist party Ataka refused to participate in its activities.

"This ad-hoc inquiry committee is an outright and brutal political attack against Georgi Parvanov. It sets a dangerous precedent because it questions the principle of separation of powers and makes an attempt to subdue the presidential institution," socialist MP Maya Manolova stated on Friday.

"Through this committee, the parliamentary majority is also keeping President Plevneliev in check, because he may also become the subject of a probe over any of his actions," Manolova cautioned.

Asked to comment on the matter, Plevneliev stated that the President was not subject to parliamentary control under the Bulgarian Constitution.

He reminded that the actions and the documents issued by the head of state were subject to control by the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) gave up on its initial plan to refer the case of the missing presidential decree to the KS.

In a Thursday ruling, VAS stated that there was no clash between the law and the Constitution in the case of the revoked naturalization of Konstantin Tsiganov, alleged Russian mafia thug sought by the Interpol.

VAS further declared that the decrees issued by the President and the Vice President were not subject to court control.

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Tags: Maya Manolova, Bulgarian Socialist Party, DPS, Ataka, ethnic Turkish, Georgi Parvanov, Angel Marin, presidential institution, Vice President, decree, pardon, citizenship, Konstantin Tsiganov, Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, KS, Constitutional Court


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