Socialist Party Complains to Bulgarian Regulators, European Institutions about PM's Election Campaign Behaviour

Socialist Party Complains to Bulgarian Regulators, European Institutions about PM's Election Campaign Behaviour

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has complained to Bulgaria's Central Election Commission (CEC), the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) and European institutions about Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's election campaign behaviour, the party said at a news briefing on Monday. The Socialists pointed out that although he is the chief executive of the State, Borissov is also a candidate for Parliament and should abide by the laws during the election campaign. "The Prime Minister is campaigning using state resources and public funds," said BSP for Bulgaria Deputy Floor Leader Hristo Prodanov, who tops the left coalition's candidate list for the 23rd Multi-member Constituency in Sofia. He pointed out that the National Assembly was dissolved during the campaign on the initiative of GERB and United Patriots lest the legislature be used as a venue for political and campaign confrontation. BSP's chief legal adviser Aglika Videnova said they had written two complaints: one to the CEC and the other to the CEM. ''We hope that this time round, unlike in previous campaigns, they will take measures and fine the chief executive of the State,'' she commented. The BSP have also drawn up an open letter to the media ''which become accomplices, covering Borissov as Prime Minister, without realizing that he is also running for Parliament''. The BSP has also drawn up an alert to the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Videnova noted that the Election Code clearly sets out the fines for such violations. Two types of penalties are provided for: between 3,000 and 15,000 leva for misusing public administrative resources, and between 5,000 and 15,000 leva for misappropriating public funds, especially as a repeated violation, she said. In her opinion, Borissov has committed a repeated violation in recent days during his tours in Pazardzhik, Velingrad, the Village of Dragonovo, the Town of Shipka and in religious institutions. Later in the day, Justice Minister Desislava Ahladova commented on the alerts submitted by BSP for Bulgaria. She talked to journalists in her capacity as a legal practitioner and GERB MP candidate. According to Ahladova, a provision of the Election Code clearly states that the prime minister, the president and vice president, and the ministers are exempt from the mandatory requirement for all other candidates to use service leave or paid leave during the campaign because they have no one to whom they can delegate their functions. "The Council of Ministers cannot possibly stop functioning during the campaign, which is why there are exceptions," Ahladova explained.

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