Bulgaria’s Prosecutor-General cancels meeting with opposition leader over Pernik water crisis

Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev cancelled a meeting planned for January 6 with opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Kornelia Ninova to discuss investigations into the water crisis in Pernik, with Geshev saying that he did not want his office used for political purposes.

The town of Pernik, about 35km from Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, has been subjected to increasing water restrictions for weeks, with controversy about the causes of the water shortages.

Prosecutors and other institutions are investigating the circumstances that led to the water supply crisis, while Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s government has moved to provide funding for alternative water supply infrastructure. Borissov and members of his Cabinet have paid a number of visits to Pernik, as has Ninova.

Ninova said last week that the BSP would, when the National Assembly resumes after the Festive Season recess, table a motion of no confidence in Borissov’s government over its water and environmental policies.

A statement by the Prosecutor’s Office said that Geshev had cancelled the meeting with Ninova because of her intention to hold a news conference after her talks with him.

“The Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria will not allow it to be used for political purposes and in violation of its constitutionally regulated powers, regardless of the political entity,” the statement said.

In the event of information or allegations regarding a crime, the Prosecutor’s Office would investigate and take the actions necessary in accordance with Bulgarian law, it said.

If there was a need to provide information relevant to the exercise of the powers of MPs, given the importance and public response to Pernik’s water problems, the Prosecutor-General was ready to provide a summary of data to the National Assembly, after consulting the supervising prosecutors.

“Recognising its responsibility to Bulgarian citizens, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria will periodically inform the public of the progress of investigations undertaken under the special supervision of a prosecutor from the Supreme Cassation Prosecution,” the statement said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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