Bulgarian Prime Minister and GERB party leader Boiko Borissov said on April 4 that he would nominate Danail Kirilov, head of Parliament’s legal affairs committee, to succeed Tsetska Tsacheva as Justice Minister.
Tsacheva, of Borissov’s GERB party, submitted her resignation on March 23 after she was among ruling majority politicians named as being investigated in connection with having acquired apartments at allegedly below-market prices. Borissov accepted her resignation the same day. Tsacheva, who denies wrongdoing, is on leave pending a vote in the National Assembly on her resignation.
Borissov said that Kirilov’s first task as Justice Minister would be to work for the inclusion of municipal councillors in the scope of Bulgaria’s anti-corruption law.
The Prime Minister said that everyone involved in the current controversy involving the anti-corruption commission and the Supreme Cassation Court should resign or take long leave. In respect of those institutions, there also have been allegations of concealment of assets.
Borissov said that his GERB party had “set a standard” and if there were any scandals – “whether an MP, head of a parliamentary group, Minister of Justice, Deputy Minister of Energy, or of sport, they resigned. I would recommend the same to those involved in these scandals”.
But, he said, “because these are people from the judiciary, they do not like to be placed under a common denominator”.
Bulgarian National Radio reported Kirilov as saying of his intended nomination that it was a very serious challenge, and expressed thanks for the nomination, describing it as a great sign of trust.
It was a very serious task given the need to complete the work of the monitoring mechanism within a few months, he said. Bulgaria, which joined the EU in January 2007, is subject to a Co-operation and Verification Mechanism to bring it up to the bloc’s standards in justice and home affairs, but would like to see this CVM process ended.
“The Prime Minister has set specific tasks. In that regard, we will make common efforts to achieve a positive result. We have done a lot so far. The work is acknowledged by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice. I hope we will get a positive result.”
Kirilov was first elected an MP for GERB in 2014 as a member of the 42nd National Assembly. He was re-elected to the 43rd and the current 44th.
(Screenshot of Kirilov: BNT)