President: Dogan and Peevski should not be guarded by NSP
Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev said on July 8 that the bodyguards who yesterday did not allow three opposition politicians to visit a public beach in Rossenets Park, on the Southern Black Sea coast, work for the National Service for Protection (NSP). He said it became clear after a conversation he had with the head of the NSP, General Krassimir Stanchev.
An official inspection is underway regarding the legality of their actions, the head of state said in a statement from the President’s office.
The statement comes a day after the leader of the non-parliamentary opposition Democratic Bulgaria coalition, Hristo Ivanov, and two coalition activists tried to reach by boat the beach which is adjacent to a property with a marina and a home known to be used by the founder and honorary chairman of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), Ahmed Dogan, as his summer residence. They used a boat because the beach to which they were going to, a public property, cannot be reached by land by members of the public. As Ivanov and his companions stepped on the beach, bodyguards who refused to identity themselves did not allow them to go on the property and pushed them back into the water.
"I have repeatedly said that Bulgaria will be a prosperous European country when we deal with unlawfulness, strengthen the rule of law and protect the rights of the Bulgarian people. Unfortunately, the law and the rights of people continue to be trampled. The examples are many, but when constitutional rights are publicly violated, it erodes further the shaken confidence. In such situations it is critically important that the competent institutions tell the truth, as a guarantor for the restoration of public trust," Radev said.
The President said that he long ago said that Ahmed Dogan, and MRF MP Delyan Peevski, should not be guarded by the NSP. However, this depends on the executive branch in the person of Prime Minister Borissov. Who will be additionally guarded by the NSP does not depend on the President. A three-member commission composed of the chairman of SANS, the chief secretary of the Interior Ministry and the head of the NSP determine whether a person is threatened and the NSP provides security, he added.
Radev clarified that last December, at his insistence, the head of the NSP convened this commission again and the need for protection of Peevski and Dogan was considered again. The representatives of the executive power have reaffirmed the need for such protection.
The President insisted that gen. Stanchev convene this commission again tomorrow and consider the need for protection of these persons.
"I expect the commission to perform its functions of controlling the NSP. It would be right if the government, the prosecutor's office and the local authorities inspect the sites in Rossenets Park and, in case of deviation from the laws, to identify measures.
Regarding the calls to exercise his powers regarding NSP, Radev said that NSP Act, which was adopted in 2015, practically took away powers from the President for real management and control over this service. The additional persons protected by the NSP are determined by the executive branch of the power and control is exercised by Parliament, Radev explained.
"If somebody is unable or does not want to impose order in the security services, but very much wants to hold me morally responsible, they should reinstate my powers by law," the President said.