Embattled Bulgarian Prime Minister Calls for Convening Grand National Assembly to Amend Constitution

August 14 (BTA) - After more than a month of street
protests against corruption, the government and the prosecutor
general, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov proposed convening a
Grand National Assembly to amend the Constitution, mainly in the
 part concerning the judicial system. He said on Friday that as
soon as the ordinary National Assembly decides that a Grand
National Assembly should be elected as per Article 160 of the
Constitution, he will step down as prime minister.

"The Constitution should be composed in line with European
rules," Borissov said in an address to the nation, as quoted by
the government press service. "The current Constitution says
that a new one may only be adopted by a Grand National Assembly.
 Therefore I propose convening a Grand National Assembly to make
 a number of significant changes to the Constitution."

One of Borissov's proposals is to reduce the seats in an
ordinary National Assembly from 240 to 120. The seats in a Grand
 National Assembly should be reduced from 400 to 280, he said.

"We will disband the Supreme Judicial Council and will propose
the establishment of a Judicial Council of Judges and a Judicial
 Council of Prosecutors. The two councils will tackle personnel
issues separately, one dealing with judges and the other one
dealing with prosecutors and investigators," he said.

In accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission
(the consultative body of the Council of Europe), seven members
of the future Judicial Council of Judges should be elected by
the professional community of judges and six by a two-thirds
majority of the National Assembly. The presidents of the Supreme
 Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court should
be Council members by default, the Prime Minister said.

He proposed that the presidents of the Supreme Court of
Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court and the
prosecutor general serve a five-year term in office. The powers
of the minister of justice should be limited to proposing the
budgets of the judicial bodies and managing the real estate of
the judiciary.

The Judicial Council of Judges and the Judicial Council of
Prosecutors should have separate inspectorates, each comprising
a chief inspector and five inspectors.

Another idea is to establish the institute of the individual
constitutional complaint.

The National Assembly should give the prosecutor general a
hearing and adopt a report by him/her every six months.

Borissov said: "A Grand National Assembly is a unique
opportunity, not just to restart our democracy but to do it
while the people enjoy the broadest political representation. We
 will insist that, of all 400 members of the Grand National
Assembly, 200 be elected by the proportional representation
method and the remaining 200 by majoritarian voting." RY/VE


Source: Sofia