Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) MP Maya Manolova was elected Ombudsman of Bulgaria by a secret vote in Parliament on Thursday. She drew 129 votes, while the other candidate, hitherto Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev, received 82 votes. Twelve of the ballot papers were invalid.
Before the vote the two candidates were presented by the parliamentary groups which nominated them.
Mihail Mikov, Floor Leader of BSP-Left Bulgaria, presented the candidature of Maya Manolova. She served as MP both while her party was in power and in opposition, so she has seen both sides of governance, Mikov said. According to him, Manolova is very active in the protection of citizens' rights. He recalled that a parliamentary committee for cooperation with the civil society was set up on her initiative.
"I will work with all institutions, with the government, with the parliamentary majority, so that citizens can be actively protected. I will be active, critical, but in the interest of the citizens," Manolova told journalists in Parliament after being elected.
She explained that she will officially step into office at the end of October, when Penchev's term as Ombudsman expires. Prior to that, Manolova must leave her BSP posts.