Try, try again: Bulgaria’s ruling party names nominee for Constitutional Court

Bulgaria’s centre-right ruling party GERB nominated Grozdan Iliev, deputy president of the Supreme Cassation Court, to fill a vacancy on the Constitutional Court, making the move on February 11 2013 as the deadline for nominations had just hours to expire.

GERB MPs Krasimir Tsipov, Dimitar Lazarov and Emil Radev will table Iliev’s nomination in Parliament.

The talks about the nomination continued until the last moment, Krasimir Tsipov, deputy chairman of the CEDB parliamentary group, was quoted by local media as saying.

“He (Iliev) is a proven professional, a person who possesses the necessary moral qualities and authority,” Tsipov said.

The candidate will have to present his ideas about the Constitutional Court by next week and face a hearing in Parliament’s committee on legal affairs the week after that.

The Constitutional Court judge from the quota allocated to Parliament must be elected on March 6.

A total of 160 votes in Bulgaria’s 240-seat unicameral Parliament, the National Assembly, are required for approval.

This is the latest attempt for Parliament to come up with a nominee.

The process of appointment from the quote allocated to Parliament should have been completed by mid-November 2012.

The nomination of Veneta Markovska ended in debacle. She was alleged to have been involved in corruption and conflict of interest, allegations that she denies, and President Rossen Plevneliev withdrew from the ceremony at which she would have been sworn in, rendering proceedings null and void. Markovska eventually withdrew from the process by announcing retirement.

Centre-right party the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) then nominated former president Petar Stoyanov but after this caused ructions within the party’s parliamentary caucus, Stoyanov announced that he would not agree to the nomination proceeding.

Then came the nomination of Galya Gougousheva, who in turn was alleged to have been involved in money laundering and using proxies to carry out commercial activity, bypassing the legal bar to Bulgarian magistrates doing so.

Gougousheva formally withdrew her candidacy on December 11 amid calls for her to be investigated for possible money laundering. Gougousheva, nominated by the UDF, said that she was confident that the investigations would find nothing untoward, but was nevertheless dropping out because “it would contribute to the quicker resolution of the institutional crisis and reducing the tension in the media.”

(Photo: Jason Morrison/



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.