President Radev Hosts Roundtable on Criteria and Public Expectations about Next Prosecutor General's Election
June 12 (BTA) - President Rumen Radev opened here on
Wednesday a roundtable on the criteria and public expectations
for the upcoming election of the next prosecutor general.
Invited to participate are representatives of NGOs working in
the field of the judicial system and professional organizations
of legal experts, Radev's Press Secretariat reported.
There are huge public expectations from the next prosecutor
general, who will have to face difficult tasks. That is why it
is very important that they have high public approval, which
also means having a transparent, clear procedure and election
criteria, in full compliance with the law, Radev said at the
The roundtable discussion is an extension of the series of
meetings the President had with representatives of the Judiciary
and the Executive in connection with the need for transparency,
election criteria and powers of the next prosecutor general.
"I am far from believing that I am exceeding my powers, I am
only led by the separation of powers principle, but am not
overlooking my duty, as I am the one who signs the decree
(appointing the prosecutor general) at the end of the process,"
the head of State said. The most important thing is for the
public to be focused and pay attention to these processes, he
Radev noted that the prosecutor general's functions, provided by
the Constitution, concerning the exercise of supervision,
legality and methodical leadership by all prosecutors, are an
important factor for the effective combatting of crime,
corruption and legitimizing the law.
This is why there are high public expectations about this
Radev said that the prosecutor general's election criteria
included in the Judiciary Act are good, but nevertheless raise
questions how they are measured, such as the "demonstrated
independence" of the prosecutor general, which is one of the
"Bulgaria should strive towards assuming more personal
responsibility. Whoever has the ambition to rule, to lead
processes in any area, they must be ready to bear personal
responsibility and the laws must be changed so that this
personal responsibility is clear," the President said.
There will be consolidation, progress and prosperity in
Bulgaria, which will become a more modern state when those who
are in power and who make the decisions stop hiding behind
bodies and institutions, Radev commented. According to him, the
collective irresponsibility is a national malady and the most
favourable environment for it is in Parliament. At the end no
one is responsible, and it should be no surprise that
Parliament's approval rating is so low, the President noted.
"I took a certain risk by initiating these meetings and this
debate, I was criticized much for intervening in the election
process and the independent Judiciary's work," he commented,
adding that it became evident from the forum that this risk was
justified. Bulgaria will prosper when there is unity between the
institutions' and the public's goals.
Radev summarized the discussion's messages as being in two
general areas - towards the public, which must keep focused on
the prosecutor general's election process; and towards the
Supreme Judicial Council members, who must base their
nominations on what the public expects.
The goal is to make the best possible choice, while the topics
and proposals concerning the constitutional and legal regulation
of the prosecuting magistracy and the Judiciary as a whole, are
important and can be the subject of a future debate, Radev
Biliana Gyaurova of the Bulgarian Institute for Legal
Initiatives presented data from a representative poll, conducted
in February among 1,100 adult citizens. The expectations from
the next prosecutor general are as follows: 65 per cent expect
them to be politically independent, 58 per cent expect them not
to succumb to pressure, while integrity, professionalism and
good reputation are the next general expectations. Close to 60
per cent of respondents believe the most important task facing
the next prosecutor general is the active fight against
high-level crime, followed by not allowing the prosecuting
magistracy to be used for political purposes, and containing
Vladislav Slavov of the Union of Bulgarian Jurists said that
there should not be so much power concentrated in the prosecutor
general. According to him, one man cannot manage all the work
surrounding criminal prosecution in the State. No one should
intervene with the work of a given prosecutor, who has been
assigned a particular case. There can be instance-based control,
as is currently provided, Slavov said.
Kalin Kalpakchiev of the Union of Judges believes that it would
be good to prepare profiles of and the qualities needed for
certain high-level positions, including in the Judiciary. This
is why the condition of the prosecuting magistracy must be
analysed to see where the deficiencies and the strengths are.
The prosecuting magistracy's deficiencies will largely define
the qualities needed by the next prosecutor general, he said.
The large concentration of power in the prosecutor general makes
this election more important than it should be. According to
Kalpakchiev, the prosecuting magistracy must be reconsidered, as
it has relatively broad functions.
Vladimir Nikolov of the Association of Prosecutors in Bulgaria
said that many of his colleagues are professionals and do their
job well, which are qualities that must be recognized. He
believes that the focus should be placed on finding a person who
can bear responsibility. LI/MY