Bulgarian Nationalists Mull Collective Immunity Waiver

Domestic | January 15, 2014, Wednesday // 10:39|  views

Volen Siderov, leader of Bulgaria's far-right nationalist party Ataka, photo by BGNES

All twenty three lawmakers from the Bulgarian ultranationalist party Ataka are planning on giving up collectively their parliamentary immunity.

The possible scenario was reported Wednesday by the Bulgarian 24 Chassa (24 Hours) daily.

Last week, their leader Volen Siderov verbally assaulted a French cultural attach? during a Sofia-Varna flight and later attacked a passenger and a police officer in a Varna airport shuttle bus, according to witnesses.

The incident prompted Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatasarov, to ask the Parliament to lift his immunity as lawmaker.

The move of the Ataka Members of the Parliament is planned as a symbolic protest against the above.

The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Sergey Stanishev, already urged Siderov to give up his immunity.

However, it is expected that the MPs will wait for the 14 days granted by the Parliamentary Code to any colleague to make up their mind when their immunity is asked.

In the current Parliament, the ruling partners, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the liberal, predominantly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) together have 120 MPs (actually 119 as the controversial DPS MP Delyan Peevski has been a no-show since June when his appointment for Chief of the powerful National Security Agency, DANS, flopped).

The opposition formerly-ruling center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) and the far-right extremist nationalist Ataka also have 120 MPs, making Ataka the parliamentary kingmaker.

Even if the two former GERB MPs, who recently became independent renegades, always vote to back the ruling partners, the Parliamentary quorum remains extremely fragile.

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Tags: GERB, Volen Siderov, immunity, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, DPS, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, Ataka, nationalist party


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