Bulgaria Parliament committee to probe alleged graft in issuing citizenship

Bulgaria’s National Assembly has agreed, with all-party support, to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate allegations in European and Bulgarian media about corruption in granting citizenship to foreigners.

The December 14 decision by Parliament follows the arrest in October of State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad head Petar Haralampiev and others in connection with alleged bribery and falsification of documents to enable nationals of nearby countries to apply for Bulgarian passports.

The ad hoc committee will have a three-month term of office and have 17 members, appointed on a proportional basis from the Bulgarian Parliament’s current five parliamentary groups.

It will be headed by Yordan Tsonev of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, whose party proposed the establishment of the committee, with Toma Bikov – an MP for Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party – as deputy chairperson.

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(Photo: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)