Bulgarian Supreme Judge Denies Eyeing Chief Prosecutor Post

Society | June 28, 2012, Thursday // 10:36|  views

The Chair of Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, Georgi Kolev. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The Chair of Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, Georgi Kolev, firmly denied reports he is going to run for Chief Prosecutor.

Kolev told the media Thursday that the successor of current Chief Prosecutor, Boris Velchev must be a top notch professional regardless of being a judge, a prosecutor or a lawyer.

According to the VAS Chair, the forums of administrative courts to elect their representatives to vote on members of the new Supreme Judicial Council, VSS, are going to start in a week.

The Chair of the Supreme Court of Cassations, Lazar Gruev, says most such meetings must be held by July 15.

Chief Prosecutor Boris Velchev's term in office expires on February 19.

Prior to the adoption of the latest set of amendments to the Judiciary Act, the procedure for the appointment of Velchev's successor was to start on December 19 and to end on January 19.

However, MPs rescheduled the procedure, setting the start on August 19 and the end on November 19.

The step means that the current VSS panel will have 45 days to appoint a new Chief Prosecutor because its term in office expires on October 3.

After MPs approved amendments, under which Bulgaria's next Chief Prosecutor could be appointed by the current or by the next VSS panel, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, vowed that the new Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) will make the appointment.

Borisov explained that the amendment postulating the country's top prosecutor could be chosen by the current VSS could be attributed to "summer months when nobody wants to do work and make key decisions."

According to experts, cited by news portal mediapool.bg, the amendments were passed because the current members of VSS would more easily appoint a Chief Prosecutor that is convenient for the GERB government.

The option of current VSS members deciding the next Chief Prosecutor was opposed by Vice President Margarita Popova, Velchev, Justice Minister Diana Kovacheva, and President Rosen Plevneliev, who, unlike the first three has the power to block the appointment by refusing to sign a decree for it.

Plevneliev recently imposed a veto on the amendments after Borisov made a U-turn on the matter and controversially urged him to do so. However, the veto did not cover the provision allowing the current Supreme Judicial Council members to appoint the next Chief Prosecutor.

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Tags: VSS, Supreme Judicial Council, Chief Prosecutor, Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgarian President, Boris Velchev, Margarita Popova, Vice President, PM, Balkans, EU, Boyko Borisov, Georgi Kolev, VAS, Supreme Court of Cassations, Lazar Gruev, veto


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