Bulgarian MPs Overcome Presidential Veto on Interior Ministry Bill

Domestic | June 19, 2014, Thursday // 13:03|  views

The new legislation would change the way the Interior Ministry's Chief Secretary (currently Svetlozar Lazarov, in the photo) is appointed, taking this competence from the President and assigning it to the Council of Ministers. Photo by BGNES

Lawmakers have rejected the veto imposed by President Rosen Plevneliev on the Interior Ministry bill.

After heated debates in Bulgarian Parliament, which prompted opposition GERB party to announce it would withdraw from next week's political consultations, the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) secured the majority needed to turn down the President's motion, the Bulgarian National Radio reports.

Far-right party Ataka also defended the bill, despite choosing not to side with the government parties during voting sessions over the past few weeks.

With the bill coming into force as a law after being given green light on two readings, changes to the way the Interior Ministry operates are introduced.

The Chief Secretary, who has so far been appointed by the President, is to be chosen by the Council of Ministers in the future and to have a five-year term in office.

"Emergency measures" could now be introduced by the Interior Minister in case of a perceived "threat to security and internal order" (article 63), a competence which the opposition says could lead to abuses by police.

President Plevneliev has been critical of the new Chief Secretary appointment system, but also of those parts of the bill setting the Ministry's budget.

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Tags: interior ministry, Chief Secretary, parliament, BSP, DPS, GERB, president, Rosen Plevneliev, Ataka


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