Prosecutor General Believes It Is Too Early to Start Consultations on His Replacement
115 POLITICS - PRESIDENT - PROSECUTOR GENERAL - TALKS - amplified
Prosecutor General Believes
It Is Too Early to Start Consultations
on His Replacement
Sofia, May 13 (BTA) - Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov believes it is too early to start consultations on the forthcoming election of a new Prosecutor General. Tsatsarov told the media on Monday that he shared his view with President Rumen Radev during a meeting earlier in the day.
Tsatsarov said he urged Radev to strictly abide by the Constitution and the law, which give him absolutely no power to influence the Prosecutor General's nomination.
This was the first of a series of meetings which the President plans to hold with members of the judicial and executive branches of government and public organizations in connection with the criteria for electing the next Prosecutor General and the powers of the future holder of the post.
The Prosecutor General is appointed by the President on a proposal by the Supreme Judicial Council for a single seven-year term in office without the possibility of a second term. Tsatsarov's term expires at the end of 2019.
Tsatsarov also said on Monday that any changes in the powers of the Prosecutor General and the status of the heads of the Supreme Cassation Court (SCC) and the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) should take account of the European Commission's recommendations. "There is no more room for institutional stubbornness and arguing. If this is the price to be paid for lifting the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, it must be paid," Tsatsarov reasoned, referring to the instrument with which the European Commission has been monitoring Bulgaria's judicial reforms, corruption control and fight against organized crime. "The price must be paid in order to create some other mechanism, a very efficient mechanism of control," he added.
Within three weeks from now, the Justice Ministry will submit a bill to the National Assembly to amend the Judicial System Act in connection with the rules for controlling and investigating the Prosecutor General and the heads of the SCC and the SAC, Tsatsarov said. He predicted that Justice Minister Danail Kirilov "will cause much surprise with many proposals which no one will have expected of him."
Tsatsarov said he will urge the Prosecutors' Chamber of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) next week to propose a starting date for the procedure for electing the next Prosecutor General. The Chamber will submit its proposal to the SJC Plenum.
According to a press release of the President's Press Secretariat, President Rumen Radev underscored the heightened expectations among Bulgarian people about the next Prosecutor General as a figure with a key role in fighting crime and corruption, and ensuring rule of law. The President reportedly voiced his own expectations for transparent and clear procedures for nominating candidates and electing the next Prosecutor General.
On Tuesday, the President will discuss the matter with Supreme Cassation Court President Lozan Panov. RY/VE