The latest goof by the Bulgarian Socialist Party government was the July 3 announcement of the appointment of a deputy justice minister who soon afterwards contacted the media to say that he had not agreed to being appointed and would not take up the post.
In the weeks since taking office, the government has made periodic announcements of the names of deputy ministers and other occupants of senior appointed posts. Generally these have been the result of political horse-trading.
On July 3, the government media office announced that Bulgaria’s consul in Frankfurt, Ivan Yordanov, had been appointed deputy justice minister.
But Yordanov, a lawyer with degrees from Sofia University and Goethe university in Frankfurt, told local media an hour after the announcement that he had not consented to the appointment.
The announcement named two deputy justice ministers, the other being Iliya Angelov, an engineer who graduated from the technical university in Varna and was formerly employed as a technologist at a truck plant in Plovdiv and also is an Interior Ministry academy graduate in the maintenance of public order, until recently chief of the judicial security unit in Plovdiv. His CV did not record him having any legal training, making him unique among recent deputy justice ministers.
Zinaida Zlatanova, justice minister and deputy prime minister, said that she respected Yordanov’s decision to refuse his appointment as deputy minister of justice.
Other backfires for the current administration have included the June 19 appointment of a deputy interior minister whose appointment was cancelled a few hours after it was announced after several media reports alleging links between him and a controversial business group.
The episode happened on the 19th day of anti-government protests demanding the resignation of the current administration and constitutional and electoral reform ahead of fresh elections, and the same day that a European Parliament debate saw withering criticism of the Bulgarian government from its political opponents. In the European Parliament, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, as reported by Bulgarian news agency BTA, said that the political events and ongoing public protests in Bulgaria “paint a clear picture and illustrate the need for reform in the country. They also indicate the depth of concerns in Bulgarian society about the rule of law”.
(Photo of the Cabinet office in Sofia: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)