The Head of State: If Somebody is Unable or Unwilling to Bring Order to the Security Services, but Instead Holds Me Morally Responsible, my Powers as Enshrined in Law Should be Reinstated
I have said more than once that Bulgaria will become a prosperous European country when we manage to cope with impunity, strengthen the rule of law and protect the rights of the Bulgarian citizens. Unfortunately, the laws and the citizens’ rights are still trampled. There are a lot of examples, but when basic constitutional rights are publicly violated, this further erodes the shaken trust in statehood. In such situations it is critically important that the institutions present the truth as a guarantee for ensuring public trust.
Today I held talks with the chief of the National Service for Protection General Krassimir Stanchev. The bodyguards involved in yesterday’s incident are NSP officials. An internal probe is underway into the lawfulness of their actions.
I said long ago that Mr. Peevski, as well as Mr. Dogan, should not be granted NSP protection. However, this depends on the Executive branch of government in the person of Mr. Borissov. Who else the NSP will protect does not depend on the President, but by virtue of law is decided by a three-member commission, consisting of the head of the State Agency for National Security, the Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry and the NSP chief. It is namely the accountable to the prime minister State Agency for National Security and the Interior Ministry that decide whether there is a threat against some person, and the NSP carries out the protection. Last December at my insistence the NSP chief convened this commission and reconsidered the need to provide protection to Mr. Dogan and Mr. Peevski. The representatives of the Executive branch of government reconfirmed the need to provide protection to them.
Today I insisted that as early as tomorrow General Stanchev should convene this three-member commission and it should reconsider the need to provide NSP protection to the respective persons. I expect that the National Assembly Commission, set up by virtue of law, would perform its functions pertaining to exerting control over the National Service for Protection. The government, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Local Authorities should conduct a check of the facilities in the Rosenets park and take measures if any breach of law is established.
As for the calls that I should exercise my powers with regard to the NSP, I would like to make it clear once again that the NSP Act, which was adopted in 2015, in effect deprived the President of any real powers to conduct management and exert control over this service. The additional persons protected by the NSP are determined by the Executive branch of government and control is exercised by the National Assembly.
If somebody is unable or unwilling to bring order to the Security Services, but instead holds me morally responsible, my powers as enshrined in law should be reinstated.