Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party is backing one of its MPs, Anton Todorov, to become the next head of the Dossier Commission, the body empowered by law to announce people in public life who worked for the country’s communist-era secret services.
Todorov (51) has a master’s degree in political science and according to his CV on GERB’s website, is actively engaged in publishing, editing and research.
For nearly 30 years he has studied Russian and Soviet political and military history, political institutions and elites, the party said. Todorov has solid expertise in the field of security, according to GERB.
Bulgaria’s Dossier Commission started work in 2006 and in the ensuing 10 years announced the names of more than 12 000 people in various areas of public life who had worked for communist secret services State Security and the Bulgarian People’s Army military intelligence.
Areas where former State Security people have been exposed include a number of Bulgaria’s ambassadors abroad, business associations, credit millionaires, trade union leaders, heads of public opinion survey agencies, the media, sports people, and members of the leaderships of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church as well as Bulgaria’s Roman Catholic, Muslim and Jewish communities.
The Dossier Commission has been headed since its inception by Evtim Kostadinov, formerly an MP for the Bulgarian Socialist Party, who among those who support the work of the commission has gained respect for his endeavours. The current commission’s mandate expired earlier this year.
GERB parliamentary group leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that Todorov had the necessary expertise and was a “good analyst”.
“I think his candidacy, if considered and approved, will be of benefit to the commission,” Tsvetanov said.
The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, however, has again tabled legislation to shut down the Dossier Commission. It has tabled such legislation repeatedly over the years, only to see it defeated.
Again, the BSP wants the commission replaced by an “institute of national memory” whose archives would be available to scholars.
The National Assembly’s fourth-largest group, the opposition Movement for Rights and Freedoms, said that it had not discussed a nomination to head the Dossier Commission. The MRF’s founder, Ahmed Dogan, was announced by the Dossier Commission to have worked for State Security, as did former MRF leader and DOST party founder Lyutvi Mestan.
Bulgaria’s constitution does not permit lustration and being named by the commission does not bar anyone from continuing in their role in public life. Among the political leaders named by the commission in past was former BSP leader and former president Georgi Purvanov, who to State Security was Agent Gotse.
In the current Borissov government, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov, a co-leader of the nationalist United Patriots, was State Security’s Agent Ivan.
In the course of various elections, including for the current National Assembly, the Dossier Commission has identified former State Security people in the candidate lists of a range of political parties, including Borissov’s GERB.