Bulgarian NGO: Ex Security Chief, Deputy Interior Minister Cannot Reclaim MP Seats

Domestic | July 16, 2013, Tuesday // 17:16|  views

Margarita Ilieva, Director of the BHC Legal Program, photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) has presented to the Constitutional Court (KS) its stance on the incompatibility of former Chair of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) Delyan Peevski and former Deputy Interior Minister Ivan Ivanov with the duties of Members of Parliament.

On June 24, at the request of 96 MPs of center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), KS initiated a lawsuit to establish the incompatibility and terminate the office of Delyan Peevski as MP of ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), according to reports of dnevnik.bg.

One week earlier, GERB submitted the same request with KS about Ivan Ivanov, MP from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), who had been appointed Deputy Interior Minister and dismissed within four hours following media publications that he had headed the Shumen-based unit of mafia structure SIC (Security Insurance Company).

BHC argues that there are two reasons for the pre-term termination of the office of Peevski as MP – his resignation and the incompatibility with the MP duties due to the occupation of another public office, which KS established.

Citing the Constitution, BHC claims that the MP office of Peevski has already been terminated due to his resignation.

BHC notes that no parliamentary decision confirming Peevski's resignation is necessary, adding that the submission of the document suffices, while the Parliament only registers the fact.

Margarita Ilieva, Director of the BHC Legal Program, says that the failure of Parliament to adopt such a decision is irrelevant because "the Parliament and Peevski cannot collude to avoid the enforceability of the Constitution."

The subsequent withdrawal of the resignation is irrelevant, according to BHC.

"A member of parliament cannot thwart or revoke the enforceability of the Constitution through a(n) (follow-up) act. Allowing the contrary would mean assuming that Peevski, by withdrawing his resignation, derogated a constitutional norm. Naturally, the law does not provide for such an option, and the Constitutional Court is least of all in a position to create it," the NGO says.

BHC insists that Peevski became DANS Chair at the moment of taking the oath of office (especially taking into account that he immediately started the de-facto fulfillment of his duties), which irrevocably placed him in a position incompatible with the MP seat.

BHC suggests that the fact that Peevski deliberately failed to sign a certificate of inauguration is irrelevant, as well as the short-term period in office.

"The Constitution does not allow for anybody but ministers to keep their MP seats during and after they occupy another public office," BHC says.

"By all accounts, Peevski can no longer act as MP without violating the Constitution - the contrary would be a violation of the core principle of separation of powers," the NGO argues.

The stance of BHC on the cases of Peevski and Ivanov are available on the organization's website.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, BHC, State Agency for National Security, DANS, Deputy Interior Minister, Delyan Peevski, Ivan Ivanov, dismissed, resignation, MP, ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, Constitutional Court


» Related Articles: