Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry chief secretary, security agency head resign – reports

Bulgarian Interior Ministry chief secretary Svetozar Lazarov has resigned, several Bulgarian media said on March 6, the day that Prime Minister Boiko Borissov was to make a formal call for both Lazarov and State Agency for National Security (SANS) head Vladimir Pisanchev to step down.

Pisanchev also had resigned, reports later the same morning said.

Borissov told reporters on March 6 that he would nominate a new head of SANS, while the new Interior Ministry chief secretary would be nominated by Interior Minister-designate Roumyana Buchvarova.

Reports of Lazarov’s resignation came two days after Vesselin Vuchkov resigned as Interior Minister at a cabinet meeting because his proposal to replace Lazarov was thwarted. Legal opinion by the cabinet office said that recent amendments to the Interior Ministry Act did not enable the automatic dismissal of Lazarov.

Borissov on March 5 named Deputy Prime Minister Buchvarova to take over the Interior Ministry portfolio.

Media reports on March 6 quoted Borissov as confirming that Lazarov had submitted his resignation, and saying that it would be accepted on March 7.

Lazarov and Pisanchev are holdovers from the 2013/2014 Bulgarian Socialist Party-Movement for Rights and Freedoms ruling axis.

In the case of Lazarov, the now-departed administration, in its final weeks, had sought to guarantee him a term of office of five years. However, Bulgaria’s current centre-right coalition cabinet got amendments to the Interior Ministry Act through Parliament enabling the dismissal of Lazarov and Pisanchev.

Even though those amendments were approved, Borissov indicated that Lazarov and Pisanchev would stay on. He said some weeks ago that the two were “working hard” and said that blame for their performance under the former government should be put at the door of Plamen Oresharski, occupant of the prime minister’s chair in the BSP-MRF government.



The Sofia Globe staff

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