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Bulgaria Court Revokes Ban on MPs with Murky Past from Top Positions January 6, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Bulgaria.
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Court Revokes Ban on MPs with Murky Past from Top Positions
Ahmed Dogan, leader of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms and MP, served as agent of the intelligence and secret police during the communist regime in Bulgaria, a check of the commission in charge has shown. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court has overruled a decision that prohibits MPs who were collaborators of the State Security, the intelligence and secret police during the communist regime, to assume key posts in Parliament.

The proposal, tabled in parliament by the right-wing Blue coalition and supported by the majority of GERB party, was adopted at the end of July.

It stated that MPs with state security records will not be able to head parliamentary commissions, join international delegations and be members of the interior security and defense commissions, as well as those that control the county’s State Agency for National Security (DANS) and European funds.

The Constitutional Court was approached by the formerly ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party and its ally the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, now in opposition, who vehemently protested against the ban.

The court ruled the decision unconstitutional, saying it limits the rights of the members of parliament to be elected in the parliamentary bodies.

“There is no doubt that the parliament is in no position to limit the rights of the members of parliament. This stems from the very fact that they are members of parliament, which means they are representatives of the sovereignty,” the constitutional judges point out in their ruling.

The court adds that the basic law for equality of all citizens, which is the founding principle of every democratic society, has also been breached.

“The introduction of additional requirements to the members of parliament goes counter to this principle and the constitutional rulings.”

The files of the former Committee for State Security are a thorny issue in Bulgaria, especially when it comes to the past of high-ranking officials.

Bulgaria’s communist-era security service is believed to have remained potent after the fall of communism with the ex-operatives closely linked to the political and business establishment.

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