Bulgarian MPs Endorse Presidential Veto on Judiciary Act

Domestic | June 20, 2012, Wednesday // 13:58|  views

Bulgaria's Parliament revoked Wednesday a set of vetoed amendments to the Judiciary Act . Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria's Parliament has revoked a set of vetoed amendments to the Judiciary Act with 8 votes in favor, 6 against and 90 abstainees.

On Wednesday, the MPs upheld the first veto imposed by President Rosen Plevneliev at the dictate of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Bulgarian left-wingers determined the veto as "make-believe" and "shameful", adding that the head of state had followed orders in resorting to it.

Meanwhile, right-wing parties and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party supported the veto.

The President returned to Parliament amendments stipulating a "career bonus" for magistrates at the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) and the VSS Inspectorate, who will be automatically promoted to a higher rank after the expiration of their terms in office.

Center-right ruling party GERB explained Wednesday that it had proposed the provisions out of concern for VSS members who were suffering an inevitable career disadvantage during their terms in office.

Plevneliev's veto does not cover a provision allowing the current VSS members to appoint the next Chief Prosecutor.

The presidential veto similarly evades the issue of the EC-recommended direct appointment of VSS members by all magistrates rather than by delegates.

The latest amendments to the Judiciary Act are said to provide for greater representation, with each voting delegate representing five judges or prosecutors instead of ten, as was the case earlier.

The European Commission has repeatedly insisted that the direct vote for VSS members should be introduced in 2012, prior to the expiration of the current panel's term in office in October, but the GERB Cabinet preferred to postpone the change to 2017.

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Tags: Judiciary Act, veto, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, VSS Inspectorate, Chief Prosecutor, European Commission


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