Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bulgarian Justice Minister Tenders Resignation As Anti-Government Protests Continue

Bulgarian Justice Minister Danail Kirilov (file photo)

SOFIA -- Bulgarian Justice Minister Danail Kirilov has tendered his resignation after "a conversation" with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the Bulgarian government said in a statement on August 26.

The reshuffle was expected to be formally approved after talks between Borisov's ruling GERB party and its junior coalition partners.

Approval requires a vote by parliament, which is due to meet next on September 2 for the start of its autumn session.

The move follows weeks of mass demonstrations across Bulgaria against what protesters say is oligarchic control over Bulgaria’s government and judicial system.

Rather than Kirilov's resignation, however, the demonstrators have been calling for Borisov and Bulgarian Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev to resign.

Protesters have been blocking roads and staging daily rallies in Sofia and other cities for nearly two months

The 50-year-old Kirilov has been heavily criticized as one of the authors of a controversial proposal for a new Bulgarian Constitution that has been denounced by experts and immediately rejected by protesters.

Analysts have dismissed the proposal as an attempt by Borisov to win time and stay in office until his current third term expires in March 2021.

They say the proposed constitution fails to improve the accountability of the chief prosecutor -- an issue long highlighted by Bulgarian and international observers and by the European Court of Human Rights.

They say GERB's draft constitution also attempts to further limit the powers of Bulgaria's largely ceremonial president.

Parliament is expected to start reviewing the constitution proposal when its autumn session starts. Debates on the proposal are expected to continue for months.

Borisov has previously sacked four ministers in an attempt to appease the crowds of anti-government demonstrators.

Thirteen years after joining the European Union, Bulgaria remains the bloc's poorest and most corruption-ridden member, according to Transparency International's corruption perception index.

With reporting by AFP
  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service

    RFE/RL’s Bulgarian Service relaunched in 2019 after a 15-year absence, providing independent news and original analysis to help strengthen a media landscape weakened by the monopolization of ownership and corruption.