RELATIVES TO BE EXPELLED FROM MUNICIPAL FIRMS
The Management Board of the National Association of Municipalities has made it its ambition to expel cousins, uncles, brothers in law, etc. from the municipal enterprises and firms, through amendments to the Local Self-Government and Administration Act. The association's Chairman Venelin Uzunov and the Executive Director Ginka Chavdarova are seeking a lobby for moving the new provisions to the National Assembly by February 28 at the latest. They will insist to pass the changes by the end of the parliamentary season. Their preliminary probing has showed that the amendments may be supported by MPs from both the UDF-coalition and the Coalition for Bulgaria.One of the most explicit stipulations in the draft is the ban for municipal councillors and their relatives of the lineal and lateral branch to fourth degree included, and to second degree by marriage, to be appointed to the management boards of commercial companies with predominating municipal participation or to be appointed as procurators or directors in them. The draft projects as well that municipal councillors and mayors may not take part in voting of decisions which concern themselves or their relatives. They will be notified in written about that requirement before being sworn in and they will have to sign a declaration.A special provision in the Local Self-Government and Administration Act will regulate the citizens' access to the decisions of the Municipal Council. In addition, the National Association of Municipalities will demand that mayors should get the right to litigate in court the decisions of municipal councils if they contradict the interest of the population or violate the laws.If the draft bill is approved by the National Assembly, the number of municipal councillors will be considerably reduced as well. It is proposed, for instance, that their number in Sofia will be cut down from 61 to 41, and in the settlements with population up to 160,000 their number will be reduced from 41 to 27.There could be no doubt that the intentions of the National Assembly of Municipalities are good. The logical question, however, is why only now, just a few months before the elections, they decided to clear the Augean stables of the local government?