Former BSP MP Manolova takes oath as Bulgaria’s Ombudsman

Former Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Maya Manolova was sworn in as national Ombudsman in Parliament on October 8, 12 days before officially taking office.

Ahead of the oath-taking, MPs were asked to vote to accept her resignation as a member of the National Assembly, with 147 voting in favour, two against and four abstaining.

Manolova was elected as Ombudsman by Parliament on July 30, defeating rival candidate and incumbent Konstantin Penchev, who was nominated by the centre-right coalition Reformist Bloc. She got 129 votes against 82 for Penchev.

On October 8, Parliament also was to vote on its choice of a Constitutional Court judge, with Penchev one of two candidates, the other being Mihail Kozharev, the nominee of the nationalist Patriotic Front.

Manolova, a controversial figure especially among those who supported the 2013/14 protests against the then-ruling axis of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, said after the oath-taking that she would protect the rights of Bulgarian citizens “firmly and actively”.

“My first steps and my first objectives will be devoted entirely to meetings with Bulgarian citizens. I will begin term with a tour of Bulgaria because, as I promised, I will be an active Ombudsman,” she said.

On Facebook, a protest has been organised, entitled “Block Maya Manolova“, for the morning that she is scheduled to take office.



The Sofia Globe staff

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