Bulgaria Nationalist Leader Breached Election Law, Officials Say

Domestic | October 30, 2015, Friday // 12:38|  views

Volen Siderov, leader of Bulgaria's Ataka party. File photo, BGNES

Nationalist Ataka party's leader Volen Siderov violated election law by campaigning on election day, October 25, the Central Electoral Commission (CIK) has said.

A CIK statement [BG] reads that he also used campaigning materials that "denigrated the morality, honor and names of candidates".

Using his own TV shown, on his own TV station (Alfa) on Sunday, he declared he would not abide by any rules, calling on people to support him and toppled down the "criminal GERB [the ruling party] clique".

He also tore a ballot paper into two pieces while attending a polling station to voice his position an an e-voting referendum that was being held alongside the elections.

Siderov has recently been at the center of several scandals in Bulgaria, the latest being on Sunday evening into Monday when a scuffle followed his intrusion into the a higher education institution in Sofia where students were having late-night classes.

His actions prompted Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov to demand that Siderov be stripped of immunity to face new criminal charges.

The move by Tsatsarov also triggered a debate as to whether immunity rules for lawmakers should be amended.

On Friday, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova called for MPs' immunity to be partially revoked. She said restrictions in police officers' freedom of action when a lawmaker clearly disrupts public order should be removed.

GERB party, of which Bachvarova is a member, announced hours after the last scandal with Siderov it was considering a move to amend the constitution which would only keep those immunity prescriptions which guarantee freedom of opinion and make MPs immune from prosecution over their comments and opinions voiced from the rostrum and elsewhere.

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Tags: Rumyana Bachvarova, Volen Siderov, local elections, Central Election Commission, CIK


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