Bulgarian head of state President Roumen Radev has called a meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security for April 8 on the topic “results of countering corruption in high places – the need for measures”, his office said on April 3.
The Consultative Council on National Security, convened by the head of state, brings together the Prime Minister and key members of the Cabinet, leaders of parliamentary groups, security, defence and intelligence chiefs.
There had been a recent call by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) for Radev to call a meeting of the council, but on the topic of allegations of Turkish interference in Bulgarian domestic politics through the recent amendments to the Religious Denominations Act.
The move by Radev, in office as President after his 2016 election on a ticket backed by the BSP and who is a regular critic of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government, comes amid a major controversy over allegations that senior figures in the ruling majority acquired apartments from a company at below-market prices.
The politicians who are the subject of the allegations, now being investigated by Bulgaria’s anti-corruption commission, all have denied wrongdoing. The allegations have led to a number of resignations, including the justice minister, two deputy ministers, and of Tsvetan Tsvetanov, deputy leader of Borissov’s GERB party, as a member of Parliament.
Tsvetanov has linked the apartments controversy to Bulgaria’s forthcoming May 26 2019 European Parliament elections, which polls currently show will be a very tight race between GERB and the BSP.
The controversy took on a new twist when media reports questioned whether the head of the antic-corruption commission, Plamen Georgiev, had been accurate in his statutory declaration of assets. Georgiev has denied wrongdoing and has said that the allegations against him come from “oligarchs” opposed to the work of his commission. Georgiev has been given close personal protection after reportedly receiving death threats.