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Bulgarian Parliament Long Ceded Anti-Mafia Duties to Govt - Report.

Bulgarian NGO Risk Monitor has accused Parliament of being too passive as regards the preparation of laws and strategies for the long-term fight against corruption and organized crime.

During Tuesday's presentation of a report titled "The Role of the National Assembly in the Fight Against Organized Crime and Corruption (2001-2011)", representatives of the public policy institute attributed the MPs' idleness to their incompetence and disinterest in the efficient resolution of these problems.

Risk Monitor experts argued that the topic was predominantly used for populist statements and for verbal attacks against political opponents.

The authors of the report, Stoycho Stoychev, Georgi Dimitrov and Rumyana Kolarova, agreed that, over the past 12 years, the Bulgarian Parliament had fully delegated its powers for drafting laws and strategies in the sphere to the executive.

To prove their point, the experts mentioned that the Parliament's website offered no strategy for combating political corruption.

Stoychev claimed that the Parliamentary committees on internal security and public order, on control over the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and on special surveillance devices were not executing their supervisory functions properly and were failing to keep track of the implementation of tasks and commitments set out in a number of strategies developed by a series of governments.

He explained that the lack of expert assistance prevented Parliament from exercising control over the fight against organized crime and corruption.

To remedy the situation, the NGO suggested creating a subcommittee to the public order committee with the purpose of overseeing developments in the sphere and coordinating the work of the services, the prosecution and the court.

"Corruption and organized crime have turned out to be the hen laying the golden eggs. Everybody emerges a winner and everybody exploits the topic, including the ones offering and the ones accepting a corrupt deal, the ones involved in organized crime and the ones who vow to fight it," political scientist Rumyana Kolarova declared.

She insisted that for more than ten years Bulgarian politicians had engaged in talk on the issue only for the purpose of mudslinging, as was typical for the topic of vote-buying during election times.

Kolarova drew attention to the paradox that there was no tangible progress in combating corruption despite the 12 years of joint efforts of ruling parties, opposition parties, NGOs and the media.

"Two years after assuming office, every governing majority realizes that corruption is not an enemy. It is among its own ministers," the expert added.

In conclusion, Kolarova stated that, unless Parliament passed a Code of Ethics and an act on lobbyism, it could not possibly persuade anybody that it really wanted to put an end to influence trading and the intermingling of politics and organized crime.
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Publication:Sofia News Agency
Date:Nov 1, 2011
Words:450
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