A candidate MP in Bulgaria’s October parliamentary elections has withdrawn after being identified as a former agent of the country’s communist-era State Security secret service – becoming the fourth to do so out of 98 so named.
On September 18, the Dossier Commission – the body authorised by statute to disclose the names of people in public life with ties to State Security – named 98 candidate MPs who were former State Security. Such people were found in 20 out of 25 of the parties and coalitions standing in the October 5 elections.
On September 21, it was announced that Roumen Naidenov, a candidate for the Right Coalition in a constituency in Plovdiv, has withdrawn his candidacy “at the invitation of the national council” of the party – one that in any case was so obscure as to have no chance of election.
Naidenov was born in Plovdiv in 1954 and was recruited in May 1987 to the Fourth Directorate of State Security, with the code names Popov and Ivanov.
Three other candidate MPs withdrew earlier after being identified as agents of the former State Security: Vladimir Mateev of the Reformist Bloc and Nikolia Serafimov and Zhivko Chaparov of the Nova Bulgaria party.
Going by the Dossier Commission disclosures, the coalition with the most former State Security people in its October 5 National Assembly election candidate lists is the Bulgarian Socialist Party-Left Bulgaria (14), followed by the far-right ultra-nationalist Patriotic Front (13) and tying in third place, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and Georgi Purvanov’s ABC, with 11 each. In the case of the MRF, the list includes the party’s leader, Lyutvi Mestan, while ABC leader Purvanov was identified as Agent Gotse years ago, but is not an MP candidate.
Boiko Borissov’s GERB, the party seen by pollsters as most likely to win the largest share of votes on October 5, has five former State Security people among its MP candidates.
(Photo: Christa Ricket/sxc.hu)