Bulgarian anti-corruption chief resigns as new government targets reform

20 Jan 22

The chairman of Bulgaria’s anti-corruption agency has resigned amid efforts by a new government to draw up laws to intensify the country’s work combating widespread graft.


Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria. Image © Shutterstock

Bulgarian prime minister Kiril Petkov told the Bulgarian National Television news programme that Sotir Tsatsarov, who heads the Commission for Combating Corruption and Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property, no longer has access to classified information.

Tsatsarov will leave his position in March.

The new coalition government, agreed in December, has said it wants to tackle endemic corruption in the eastern European country.

Bulgaria was ranked as the joint-most corrupt country in Europe in the most recent Corruption Perceptions Index report from global pressure group Transparency International, released in January 2021, alongside Romania and Hungary.

The coalition has also called on prosecutor general Ivan Geshev to resign, to – it says – allow the Prosecutor’s Office to properly carry out its duties.

Politicians said the prosecutor has not acted despite a series of scandals, and the that Geshev has just 10% of the public’s confidence, according to English language Bulgarian news agency Novinite.

“The coalition recognises that the systemic erosion of the law in the country is due to the building of oligarchic dependencies on institutions and the lack of adequate investigation by the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office,” the agency quoted We Continue the Change party chairman Andrei Gyurov as saying in parliament.

Petkov in a separate television interview said “everyone understands that there used to be people with untouchability status; that’s over”.

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