Twelve communist-era State Security agents among Bulgaria’s MPs

Twelve of the 240 members of Bulgaria’s 42nd National Assembly, elected on May 12, worked for the country’s communist-era secret service State Security.

Each of the four parties has former State Security agents.

Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB has three out of its total 97 MPs, Sergei Stanishev’s Bulgarian Socialist Party four out of 84 MPs, Lyutvi Mestan’s Movement for Rights and Freedoms four – including Mestan – out of 36 MPs and Volen Siderov’s Ataka, one out of 23. Mathematically, the MRF has the highest proportion of former State Security people.

The total in the new Parliament is one fewer than in the 41st National Assembly, where GERB had three, the socialists none, the MRF seven and Ataka, one, according to the desebg website.

The number could increase. In some cases, candidate MPs were elected in more than one electoral district and must choose the one for which they will sit. The website said that it would check whether replacement MPs were affiliated with State Security, according to Dossier Commission records.

Previously, according to an announcement by the Dossier Commission, more than 140 of the 4145 candidates checked by the commission ahead of the May 12 elections were with State Security.

The GERB MPs who formerly were with State Security are Lyubomir Hristov, elected in the town of Shoumen, Roumen Ivanov, elected in Dobrich, and Stefan Dedev, elected in Plovdiv.

Hristov was with military counterintelligence, Ivanov and Dedev both staff members. The latter two also were GERB MPs in the previous Parliament.

The BSP MPs who were with State Security are Mincho Minchev, elected in Vratsa, Rossen Malinov and Roumen Gechev (economy minister in the Zhan Videnov socialist government), both elected in Sofia, and Hristo Monov, elected in Bourgas.

In the MRF, apart from party leader Mestan (Agent Pavel, recruited to State Security in 1979 at the age of 19), the other former State Security people are Ahmed Bashev, elected in Blagoevgrad, Ramadan Atalay, elected in Razgrad and Yanko Yankov, elected in the town of Sliven.

Ataka’s MP with a State Security past is Stanislav Stanilov, who also was an MP for Siderov’s ultra-nationalist party in the previous Parliament.

Dossier Commission scrutiny of the candidates lists showed that of those nominated to be MPs, the number of State Security people in the GERB list was six, in the BSP list 15, in the MRF list 16 and in the Ataka list, four. The other former State Security were in a number of parties that failed to make the threshold for seats in Parliament.

(Photo: Jaime Pérez)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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