By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of the Sofia Globe
Twelve members of Bulgaria’s 240-member 43rd National Assembly, that took office on October 27, formerly worked for the country’s communist-era secret service State Security.
There are former State Security or military intelligence people in five out of the eight parties represented in Bulgaria’s newly-elected Parliament, and they include a party leader and a Deputy Speaker.
The only group in Parliament that had no former State Security agents among its MP candidates is the centre-right Reformist Bloc. Before the October 5 elections, a check by the Dossier Commission identified one of its candidate MPs as former State Security. That candidate was prevailed on to withdraw.
The populist Bulgaria Without Censorship and socialist breakaway ABC both had former State Security people among their candidates, but while each party won seats, none of the former State Security agents on their lists made it into Parliament.
A number of those identified as former State Security have been identified before because of previous checks on parliamentary candidates and members of Parliament.
These include Lyutvi Mestan, “Agent Pavel”, leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF).
The MRF has the most former State Security agents, a total of four out of the party’s 38 MPs, according to check of the records by Bulgarian website desebg.
Apart from Mestan, the others are deputy leader Rushen Risa (Agent Petar), Ramadan Atalay (Agent Vergil) and Yanko Yankov, who was a part-time employee of the district police department in Sliven.
Next is Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB, Parliament’s largest party with 84 MPs, of whom three formerly worked for the communist-era secret services.
The GERB list is Lyubomir Hristov (Agent Harry), Roumen Ivanov, a staff member at a district police station, and Stefan Dedev, a staff member at the 13th Border Detachment in the late 1980s.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party has two, the nationalist Patriotic Front two and ultra-nationalists Ataka one.
The BSP has Roumen Getchev, who was a collaborator code-named Ekonomov at the First Directorate of State Security from 1987, and Taxco Ermenkov, a staff member of the intelligence department on the general staff of the military from 1984.
The Patriotic Front has Velizar Enchev, who worked for the First Directorate of State Security from 1985, and Krassimir Karakachanov, Agent Ivan, who was with the Sixth Directorate of State Security from 1989.
Nominated by the Patriotic Front, Karakachanov was among eight Deputy Speakers of the 43rd National Assembly elected at Parliament’s first sitting on October 27.
Ataka has Stanislav Stanilov, Agent Svetlin with the Second Directorate of State Security. Desebg termed Stanilov the “doyen” of former secret service people in the new Parliament, because at 71, he is the oldest among them, while Risa, at 47, is the youngest.
The 43rd National Assembly has three fewer former State Security people than its predecessor, the 42nd National Assembly that was in office from May 2013 to August 2014.
In that now-departed parliament, the BSP had six former State Security people, the MRF five, GERB three and Ataka one.
Bulgaria’s constitution does not allow lustration of former agents and collaborators with the communist regime’s secret services.