Bulgarian MPs Restart Constitutional Judge Appointment

Domestic | November 16, 2012, Friday // 16:57|  views

Iskra Fidosova, MP from the ruling GERB party and Chair of the Bulgarian Parliament's Legal Committee. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The Bulgarian Parliament's Legal Committee decided Friday to start a new procedure to elect and appoint a constitutional judge from the parliamentary quota.

On Thursday, controversial supreme magistrate, Veneta Markovska, elected to become one of the two new constitutional judges from the parliamentary quota, was prevented from taking the oath of office by Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, who left the ceremony, thus blocking her appointment.

The President left at the moment Markovska had to be sworn in. He delivered an address to the new members of the Constitutional Court, but left the hall when it was Markovska's turn to take the oath.

Plevneliev's move blocked her joining of the Constitutional Court since under the law the oath is considered valid only if taken in the presence of the Head of State.

On Friday, at an emergency meeting, the Legal Committee decided to shorten the procedure. Nominations can be submitted between November 22 and 30.

The GERB Chair of the Committee, Iskra Fidosova, pledged that this time all tipoffs against the candidates, even the anonymous ones will be probed.

Markovska's appointment stirred a huge scandal in Bulgaria over a tipoff sent to Members of the Parliament from the opposition and an investigative journalistic report raising suspicions of trading influence and corruption. She was approved by the MPs without a hearing and explanations about the allegations.

The case "Markovska" "traveled" all the way to the European Commission, which warned Bulgaria twice about the possibility of issuing an interim report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.

On Friday, the MPs from the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, left the Legal Committee's sitting, declaring they would not be part of the new procedure, on grounds the Parliament cannot be held responsible for the farce, created by the lack of coordination among institutions.

They say the case has tarnished the image of all institutions and has placed at risk the entire reputation of the Parliament from now on.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared the Bulgarian Parliament would be starting as early as Friday a procedure to elect a new constitutional judge from its quota.

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Tags: Iskra Fidosova, MPs, Chair, parliament, Legal Committee, DPS, president, Rosen Plevneliev, VAS, cooperation and verification mechanism, GERB, VSS, Supreme Judicial Council, resignation, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister, Constitutional Court, European Commission, Supreme Administrative Court, Veneta Markovska, oath of office, constitutional judge


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