There Is Something Rotten in Bulgaria's Constitutional Court - Judge

Domestic | December 23, 2013, Monday // 16:05|  views

Rumen Nenkov, member of Bulgaria's Constitutional Court (KS), photo by BGNES

Rumen Nenkov, a judge at Bulgaria's Constitutional Court (KS), has suggested there are reasons to question the impartiality of the decisions of the body.

In a Monday interview for Nova TV, he commented on the two decisions of KS upholding the right of controversial media tycoon Delyan Peevski to remain in office as MP from the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party.

Nenkov was rapporteur on Peevski's case.

On December 19, KS for a second time affirmed Peevski's right to remain in office as DPS MP.

Bulgaria's Constitutional Court was first asked to interpret article 72 of the Constitution by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

Subsequently, proceedings initiated by President Rosen Plevneliev in end-October over the same matter were added to the case.

On December 19, 7 members of the Constitutional Court ruled that in order for Peevski's term in office as MP to be terminated, he should have filed a resignation and it should have been put to the vote in Parliament.

The ruling stated that the fact that Peevski had taken an oath of office as Chair of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) did not automatically mean that he had left his MP seat.

On June 19, 2013, Bulgaria's Parliament adopted a decision revoking the appointment of the shady media mogul as Chair of the State Agency for National Security (DANS) approved on June 14, 2013. The move followed a wave of massive anti-graft protests in Sofia.

Plevneliev stated in end-October 29 that the decision adopted by Parliament on June 19 contradicted basic principles of the Constitution.

On October 8, 2013, the Constitutional Court issued its first ruling affirming Peevski's right to keep his MP post.

"My conscience makes me speak because I feel that something is rotten in Denmark. At the risk of making enemies – we should first tend to our own garden. The work of KS is not unrestrained, it must be clear and public," Nenkov said Monday, as cited by Sega daily.

The Constitutional Court judge insisted that a cause for concern was that fact that the Constitutional Court had not been able to form a majority (7 votes) on Peevski's case. He pointed out that the matter had elicited as many as four different opinions (KS consists of 12 judges).

"This is very worrying. Interpreting laws and the Constitution is not so unpredictable so as to draw so many conflicting opinions," he declared.

Asked to specify who was influencing the Constitutional Court, he argued that it was a system of personal "and a range of other relations."

"I cannot say because nobody has ever dared to exert influence on me," he said, as cited by

He emphasized that a court which took pride in its dignity would not succumb to the powers that be.

"The question is, are we upholding certain principles or are we creating comfort for the authorities on the basis of personal ties or bias," he noted.

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Tags: Constitutional Court, KS, Delyan Peevski, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, BSP, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev


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