OPPOSITION DOES NOT ACCEPT EXTRAORDINARY PRIVATISATION
Participation in privatisation is not an underlying constitutional right. Therefore, the interdiction to appeal deals on 12 individual companies shall not violate the Constitution. Thus, the Chairman of the parliamentary Economic Commission Valeri Dimitrov justified NMSII's intention to introduce a special order for the divestment of companies, relevant to the national security. The draft bill on amendments to the Privatisation and Post-privatisation Control Act, approved by the Government on January 23, 2003, was urgently moved on January 28 for discussion by the Economic Commission. It stipulates that the choice of buyers for the 12 companies in question would be made by the Government on the basis of the grading of offers by the Privatisation Agency (PA), and afterwards the ministers' decision would be moved for approval by Parliament. The draft stipulates as well that these decisions of the executive shall not be liable to appeals under the Administrative Procedures Act and the Supreme Adminiatrative Court Act.According to Mr. Dimitrov, if the Constitutional Court is predictable in its actions, it should not reject the amendments to the act because of the restricted right of appeal. He quoted a stance of the constitutional judges of 1997, according which court control could be admitted only for decisions which do not concern the citizens' constitutional rights and freedoms. Mr. Dimitrov who is professor in law claims that participation in privatisation is not related to such rights and freedoms. Moreover, the same stance of the Constitutional Court says that decisions connected with a higher constitutional value (such as the national securitity is according to Mr. Dimitrov) may be unappealable. However, lawyers recalled that the Constitutional Court has also made just the opposite decision (No 8 of 1999), rejecting the unappealability of PA's acts.The national security argument provoked the indignation of all MPs from the opposition who took part in the session of the Economic Commission. According to them, the only definition of national security is in the concept and it is quite elastic. If we proceed from the recent statement of Gen. Boiko Borissov that the problem concerning locusts might also turn out to be connected with the national security, then we should include in the list of special deals many other firms as well. As it could be expected, the discussion of the draft bill, attended by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Economy Nikolay Vassilev as well, was strongly politicized. Judging from the declarations, both the blue and the red parliamentary groups will vote against the extraordinary privatisation. Their representatives objected also the idea that Parliament would make decisions on the buyers, and not on the contract to be closed with them. It seems to me a clever device, Mihail Mikov, deputy from Coalition for Bulgaria, said. The National Assembly will approve only part of the deal's parameters, and the way of payment, escrow account and other clauses will be negotiated afterwards. As it is known, the draft contract for divestment is prepared by the PA and is part of the dossiers for holding the final stage of the tender. Nobody from those present at the meeting could explain how Bulgartabac's privatisation should continue according to the new draft bill, but most of them voiced suspicions that the amendments are projected only because of the tobacco holding.