Peevski set to return to Bulgarian Parliament as major parties finalise candidates

Delyan Peevski, the controversial figure whose abortive appointment as State Agency for National Security chief in 2013 sparked public protests that ultimately led to the downfall of the government, appears set to again be elected as an MP when Bulgaria holds early parliamentary elections in October 2014.

Peevski is to top the list of candidate MPs for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) in the towns of Pazardzhik and Stara Zagora, the MRF announced on August 28.

Constitutional Court decisions in 2013 enabled Peevski to retain his seat in the 42nd National Assembly after his place was challenged because of his short-lived appointment as SANS head. The court found that Peevski, who took the oath as head of SANS in the National Assembly but whose appointment was rescinded amid public outrage, remained an MP.

In May 2014, Peevski was elected an MEP but declined to take up his seat in the European Parliament.

The MRF ticket in the party strongholds of Kurdjali and Haskovo will be headed by MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan, while Petar Chobanov, finance minister in the now-departed government that had been appointed with the mandate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, is to stand as head of the MRF ticket in the town of Montana and in the 25th electoral district in capital city Sofia.

Eighteen parties and seven coalitions are standing in Bulgaria’s October 5 ahead-of-term parliamentary elections, which were brought about the routing of the BSP in the May European Parliament elections, that had been preceded by widespread public rejection of the BSP-MRF government.

With the registration process closed, parties – major and minor – have been making public their lists of candidate MPs.

Centre-right GERB, the party most likely to win the largest share of votes, as it has done in every election since its emergence on Bulgaria’s political landscape, has its leader Boiko Borissov at the head of its tickets in Sofia and Plovdiv.

List leaders for GERB in various places include figures who were cabinet ministers in the 2009/13 GERB government and who were vocally loyal during the difficult months of the now-defunct 42nd National Assembly.

These include deputy leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Lilyana Pavlova, Ivailo Moskovski, Desislava Atanasova and Delyan Dobrev. Also set to return is Tsetska Tsacheva, who was Speaker of the National Assembly during the GERB government.

Mediapool noted that the former head of the Dossier Commission (the body charged with identifying former State Security agents in public life), Metodi Andreev, headed the GERB candidate list in Plovdiv region – while two former State Security people are also on GERB lists.

One is Dobrich ticket leader Roumen Ivanov, formerly a staff member of State Security at the regional police department in Tolbuhin (as Montana was called under communism), while the other is Lyubomir Hristov, ticket leader in the town of Shoumen, who was in military counterintelligence at the third State Security directorate.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party was due to formally announce its full lists only on August 30, following fierce faction fighting, especially in Sofia.

However, media reports named the BSP candidate list leaders as including party leader Mihail Mikov (in Vidin), former minister Angel Naidenov (Varna), failed party leader candidate Maya Manolova (Kyustendil), failed party leader candidate Kornelia Ninova (Sofia region), and failed party leader candidate Dragomir Stoynev (Stara Zagora).

Among lesser parties and coalitions, the ultra-nationalist Patriotic Front ticket will be led by National Movement for the Salvation of Bulgaria leader Valeri Simeonov in NFSB stronghold Bourgas and in Sofia’s 23rd electoral region, nationalist VMRO leader and former State Security agent Krassimir Karakachanov will head the ticket in Pleven and in Plovdiv, the Patriotic Front ticket will be headed by former mayor Slavcho Atanassov.



The Sofia Globe staff

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