Bulgarian Audit Office to Probe Independent MPs Subsidy

Bulgarian Audit Office to Probe Independent MPs Subsidy

The Bulgarian Parliament unanimously approved Friday with 132 votes to assign the National Audit Office, NAO, to probe the legitimacy of additional State subsidy to parties joined at a later date by independent MPs.

The much debated issue of how to redirect the State subsidies the independents have received for being elected on the ballot of a particular party, and should they be redirected, popped up in July when 12 of the 18 "independent" Members of the Parliament, renegades from a wide array of political parties, issued a declaration backing PM Boyko Borisov and providing his minority government with a parliamentary majority in the third no-confidence vote against the cabinet of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, party.

The audit has a deadline of October 30 and will involve a check of how the Finance Ministry had distributed the subsidy between July 5, 2009 (the date of the last general elections in the country) and June 30, 2011.

The MPs mandated NAO to provide to the Parliament the audit reports of political parties prepared for 2010.

The proposal was submitted by the right-wing Blue Coalition and was signed by 57 MPs, including some from the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, independents formerly from the marginal conservative party RZS (Order, Law and Justice), and from the nationalist party Ataka.

The renegade MPs in the current General Assembly come from RZS, Ataka, and the Blue Coalition.

One of those who left RZS, Todor Velikov, asked the Blue Coalition why they are not paying more attention to promissory notes the RZS MP hopefuls were forced to sign before the 2009 elections and to the fact Ataka candidates also had to sign declarations for loyalty which later turned to be also promissory notes.

Velikov pointed out that after leaving RZS, he had redirected his subsidy to GERB and applauded the ruling party for using it, along with the subsidies granted by other independents, to make deposits in the fund for the treatment of sick children. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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