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(DF) Specialized Prosecution Office Has Been Checking Petkov about Untrue Citizenship Declaration Since August 24

October 13 (BTA) – Bulgaria’s Specialized Prosecution Office (SPO) has been checking Kiril Petkov since August 24 in connection with alleged false statement made by him in a declaration before his appointment as caretaker economy minister on May 10, 2021, the SPO said in a press release on Wednesday. The SPO was alerted by a member of the public about an alleged criminal offence committed by Petkov, referring to an item in the “Troud” daily of August 22. The article in question argued that, in addition to misdeclaring his citizenship status, Petkov broke other laws as well, including the replacement of the executive director of the Bulgarian Development Bank. The Continue the Change Coalition, which is co-led by Petkov and has nominated him as candidate in the November 14 parliamentary elections, reacted later in the day, saying that the closure of the Specialized Criminal Court and Specialized Prosecution Office in their present form should be a key lawmaking priority of the next National Assembly as part of a deep-going change in Bulgaria’s development. “We are not afraid. There are more important things than fear, and one of them is that we must continue the change,” the coalition said in its statement. The Constitutional Court, too, is examining the case of Petkov’s citizenship. The matter was taken to that Court by 55 GERB MPs. They challenged the constitutionality of the decree by which President Rumen Radev appointed him to the caretaker Cabinet, arguing that by that date he still held Canadian citizenship, which made him incompatible for the office that requires Bulgarian citizens only. Petkov has submitted to the Constitutional Court a certificate showing that he ceased to be a citizen of Canada on August 20, 2021 but claims that his application to renounce that citizenship, dated April 21, 2021, sufficed as evidence that his dual nationality had lapsed by the date of this appointment. LG