Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry Is Deeply Politicized – Caretaker Minister

Domestic | September 24, 2014, Wednesday // 10:40|  views

Bulgaria's caretaker Interior Minister Yordan Bakalov, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry is the most highly-politicized one, according to Yordan Bakalov, caretaker Interior Minister.

In a Wednesday interview for the morning broadcast of bTV, he suggested that the Interior Ministry was plagued by divisions among officials who were close to this or that minister.

Bakalov emphasized that he was not interested in the political affiliations of the middle-level and top-level managers in the system, adding that he would evaluate their work on the basis of the organization of the early elections on October 5.

Asked to comment on allegations that directors of police units in rural areas were trying to influence the election results, he underscored that he had warned police chiefs to not exert undue influence on the process or they would face dismissal.

Bakalov, as cited by dnevnik.bg, made clear that senior officials of the Interior were worried about the results of the upcoming early elections and their impact on the work of the institution.

He said that the officials of the Interior had lacked motivation to fight vote buying under previous management teams, adding that the staff had only just begun to warm up to the task.

Bakalov argued that the precautionary measures against vote buying were yielding results and the people who had agreed to secure preference voting for parties had come under pressure.

Bulgaria’s caretaker Interior Minister pointed out that the police had identified over 100 polling stations as high-risk units where violations were to be expected.

He confirmed that an internal inspection had led to the removal from office of the head of the police directorate in Pleven but he did not disclose details.

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Tags: Yordan Bakalov, caretaker government, caretaker minister, police department, early elections

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