Diana Kovacheva Elected National Ombudsman

May 21 (BTA) - Bulgaria's 240-seat Parliament Thursday elected Diana Kovacheva as National Ombudsman for a five-year term by a vote of 173 in favour, with three abstentions.

Kovacheva was nominated by GERB. Presenting the nomination, Krassimir Velchev, Chair of the Religious Affairs Committee, said Kovacheva had a long-standing experience in human rights protection and had served as deputy ombudsman. She is backed by many NGOs.

Vassil Antonov (BSP for Bulgaria) said the Left backed the nominee.

Kovacheva thanked the MPs for placing their trust in her, saying she was honoured to be the fourth Ombudsman. "Being familiar with the job, I can say it is not an easy one, but defending citizens' rights is worth every effort," she said.

Her ambition is to turn the institution "from being people's last hope to their first choice when their rights are violated". She remains committed to open dialogue and transparent work.

Kovacheva served as deputy ombudsman between 2016 and September 2019, when the then ombudsman Maya Manolova resigned to run for Sofia mayor, a position she failed to win.

Kovacheva was justice minister between 2011 and 2013 and a long-serving executive director of Transparency International Bulgaria.

She holds a master's degree in EU law from Sofia University, a master's degree in EU law and legal system from Nancy 2 University of France and an LLD in international law and international relations. In 2014, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her tireless efforts in the fight against corruption and her endeavours towards a transparent and effective judiciary. Kovacheva speaks English, French and Russian. RI/DD

Source: Sofia