Mr Panov Goes Back in Battle for Court of Cassation’s Presidency
With almost 90% certainty it can be predicted that Judge Lozan Panov will be the next President of the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) of Bulgaria. There are at least three reasons for this, besides his personal qualities: first, because the majority of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) will not want Pavlina Panova to occupy this position and showed it to her clearly enough in her previous participation in the competition when she had to compete with judge Tanya Raykovska. The second reason is that Panova and Panov are the only two candidates in the current procedure for the appointment of a new head of the SCC. And the third one is that the SJC simply has no time to postpone the voting again. Not only because the EU commissioners already really pointed a finger at the country. But also because reforms will be carried out, judging by the fact that local politicians shook hands and began to discuss the SJC to be divided into two separate bodies - for judges and prosecutors.
The forecast that Lozan Panov is the undisputed favorite in the upcoming procedure was confirmed last week when SJC unanimously decided to suspend the procedures for selecting a new chairman of the SCC over the incident, which Mr. Panov underwent. It should be recalled that on 9 December the judge was hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing while doing his morning cross, and has since been in hospital.
The day after the crash he sent a declaration to the SJC in which he himself asked to be withdrawn from the race for SCC. Situation breeds many doubts bordering on unhealthy conspiracy theories. Many people thought the incident was an assassination intended at urging Lozan Panov to withdraw from participation in the election.
Because of the unprecedented situation SJC decided to suspend the procedure to give another opportunity for Panov to think the matter over but this time no longer in a state of post-traumatic stress, whether he is convinced that he wants to give up the battle. This decision of the SJC, although raising purely legal disputes whether there are legal grounds for it, eventually proved effective - Lozan Panov decided to return to the game.
Judge Panov appear in person before the Supreme Judicial Council on Wednesday (December 17th) to announce his decision to enter the battle for the presidency in the SCC. Panov explained his reaction last week with a heavy life situation in which he was - shortly before the incident he had lost his father. "Personally, I am going through quite a difficult period, but we expect a report from the European Commission and what I have to do is to continue to be involved, although it may be difficult physically. We owe the public a fair and equitable competition. Judge Pavlina Panova is a very good professional and ethical person. I hope we would have a fair competition that society expects," said judge Panov.
The election itself will be held on 29 January.