Council for Electronic Media holds hearing for removal of top justice reporter from the air, Supreme Bar Council issues statement against Ivan Geshev’s candidacy for Prosecutor General

 mediapool.bg

Opinion: The immediate and unlimited power of the Prosecutor General The campaign to secure Ivan Geshev, the only candidate for Prosecutor General, has become so overwhelming, it is worth rebooting the most basic of questions regarding his future office. Especially given the fact that Geshev is not only unopposed, the procedure for his appointment is so wrapped up inward in the institution of the Supreme Judicial Council – which elects the Prosecutor General – it is virtually immune from any public pressure. But protests are mounting, which in turn produce a lot of questionable PR. But while Geshev himself seems not at risk of losing the post he has been intended for, GERB and Boyko Borissov stand to lose a lot. Borissov cannot oppose Geshev even if he wants to, because Geshev is current Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov’s choice and Borissov is dependent on Tsatsarov. Borissov’s position will not improve with Geshev, it might only worsen. Lastly Borissov and GERB will carry the negatives of Geshev’s appointment, when the protests and overall public displeasure will translate into votes. The Prosecutor General’s term is seven year long. The position is essentially untouchable. The Prosecutor General answers to no one and while there is an on-paper provision he or she could be investigated for wrongdoing, this investigation would be carried out by his or her direct subordinates. The power, which the Prosecutor General possesses is unique and potentially total. Nikola Filchev, Prosecutor General from 1999 till 2006 coined a phrase, which captures the office best: he famously once said “above me is only God”. The current Prosecutor General, Sotir Tsatsarov realized the most of this potential to date. The next will likely carry on to expand this potential far beyond what we witness today. And to be fair, this is only natural, and – sadly – hasn’t much to do with Ivan Geshev, although his demeaner alone is a clear and gross account of the fact that the fight for the justice system – if there even was one – has long since concluded. But chilling fact of the matter is that Geshev not only literally but also figurately – has no alternative. Even if they decide to appoint someone else, he or she will carry the same values and will have been molded by the same ideology. The way the Prosecutor’s Office and specifically its head position are structured in Bulgaria has been the number one criticism by the European institutions, and with good reason. And understandably, it is this exact state of affairs that cause the governments to consistently ignore the recommendations to reform the system. Even if we assume the best intentions from governments, at the end of the day, the Prosecutor General has the power (and apparent willingness) to go after enemies with the full force of the office. But such an assumption is naïve to say the least. Instead the executive branch, their shady business associates and the ..


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