Sofia urban mobility centre management resigns after public procurement row
The management team of the Sofia city hall urban mobility centre has resigned, only days after the mayor of the Bulgarian capital city reportedly asked them to do so in the wake of a TV report on a public procurement tender involving public transport stop shelters in Sofia.
According to the report, the tender held last year was won by a company co-owned by Sotir Kotsev, whose spouse Irena Kotseva is a member of Parliament for GERB, the senior partner in the ruling coalition. The report alleged that the company offered the highest price among eight bidders to build 60 metal and plastic shelters at public transport stops, about 237 000 leva (or 121 000 euro), but won the tender because the other offers were disqualified.
On April 22, Kotseva submitted her resignation from Parliament and Sofia deputy mayor for transport Lyubomir Hristov, who was spotted making frequent visits to Kotseva’s home in Samokov, also submitted his resignation citing “the tension created [by the report]”, although he also pointed out that he had no direct influence on the tender, which was called by the centre for urban mobility, while also denying that he did anything to help Kotsev’s company win the tender.
Reports in Bulgarian media said last week that Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova was angered by the report, which aired while she was out of the country, and accepted Hristov’s resignation upon her return, while also demanding the resignations of the urban mobility centre management.
(Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova)