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Bulgarian parliament pushes anti-corruption law past president's veto

Europe
12.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Sofia (dpa) - The Bulgarian parliament has restated its determination to pass an anti-corruption law by approving a bill which President Rumen Radev vetoed earlier in January.

In Bulgaria, the president has the authority to veto a law once and return it to parliament, but if it is passed again, there are no ways to stop it from going into effect.

In the second vote, 146 legislators backed the bill, including the opposition party of ethnic Turks and the populist Volya (Will). Opposed were 76 representatives of the Socialist Party.

The new agency is supposed to combat high-level corruption and will have the authority to seize illegally acquired funds and property. Its leadership will be appointed by the parliament.

The new law replaces several agencies battling corruption with a single authority, which Radev said as an "impossible task" and warned that its power may be abused.

Radev, who won the election in late 2015 with support from the Socialists, also voiced concern that the new law does not provide enough protection for whistleblowers.

Bulgaria initially passed the anti-corruption law on December 20, shortly before it assumed its first rotating six-month presidency over the EU.

A member since 2007, Bulgaria is the poorest and perceived as the bloc‘s most corrupt member state. The EU still monitors the judiciary in Bulgaria.

"After we rejected the president‘s veto, our country will meet the commitments to the European Union," Tsvetan Tsvetanov of the ruling conservative GERB party said.

 

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