Under fire from ruling party GERB for allegedly violating the constitution by recording and releasing a transcript of his conversation with Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov, and now the subject of a request from Parliament for a copy of any recordings, Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov expressed "surprise".
After a war of words lasting for some days after Dyankov appeared in a television talk show during which Purvanov was lampooned, the two met on March 5 at Dyankov’s request.
Apparently without the foreknowledge and consent of Dyankov, Purvanov’s office posted a transcript of the conversation on the website of the Bulgarian Presidency.
On March 6, Speaker of Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva told a hastily-summoned news conference that she had written to the President’s office asking for copies of recordings to check their veracity.
Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s ruling party GERB said that Purvanov had violated article 32 of the constitution, concerning the inviolability of private communications.
In a statement on March 6, Purvanov’s office said that it was "normal administrative practice" for stenographic records to be kept of the President’s official meetings and discussions.
The conversation that he had held with Dyankov had contained no confidential information or anything concerning Dyankov’s personality, Purvanov's media statement said.
Purvanov said that he considered the involvement of Parliament in the matter "unwise".
On the issue of relations among Bulgarian institutions - which has become a running theme in the row since Dyankov's talk show appearance - Purvanov insisted that he defended the Bulgarian position national and internationally, and named his recent talks in Brussels as evidence of this, but said that this did not extend to being uncritical about "the errors of the Finance Minister".