Sofia Echo


My Bulgaria: The second job

Author: Petar Kostadinov Date: Fri, Mar 26 2010 3 Comments, 12341 Views
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We have finally learned about the activities of Ahmed Dogan, the almighty and long-standing leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) party, during all the years he failed to appear in Parliament. Dogan’s party subordinates had repeatedly told us that he was not attending to his daily duties as an MP because there were other ways for an MP to contribute to the public’s wellbeing. Hence Dogan was never in Parliament. The remuneration for attending to this "wellbeing" must have been very high because he clearly had no problem paying fines imposed by Parliament on absent MPs.

Now, however, we finally know about the exploits of Dogan, the philosophy graduate. He had been reading chemistry and physics textbooks, he had consulted scientists on energy issues, he even had his own laboratory at home and, yes, let’s not forget that tiny detail that he had been receiving millions of leva as a consultant on energy projects developed with public funds. And maybe we should not forget that he had been getting these fees while his party, the MRF, was serving its second consecutive term as one of the ruling coalition parties (2001/09).

All this was confirmed by Kamen Kostadinov, the MRF’s spokesperson, despatched by Dogan to tell the media that Dogan, besides being a politician, was a scientific mastermind, a visionary worth every single lev of the 1.5 million leva he got from a private company on a project supported by public funds.

Kostadinov’s thesis in defending his leader after Trud daily broke the story was simple - yes, Dogan did get the 1.5 million leva consultancy fee on a contract signed in 2008 when the MRF had three cabinet ministers. The money, however, did not emanate from the Budget but from a private company that had hired Dogan for his expertise in hydro power projects and alternative energy sources. You see, there was no public money involved, hence no conflict of interest given that Dogan was, and still is, an MP.

It was a good try by Kostadinov but not good enough because, as Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov correctly later noted, how do you define a project funded by the state-owned power grid operator? A private one or a public one? Kostadinov did not answer this question, just as he could not explain how this private company, which paid Dogan 1.5 million leva, obtained its money. Equally, he failed to tell us the correct way of describing a private company paying a politician - a leader of one of the ruling parties who had reinvented himself as an energy expert - a consultancy fee with money coming from a state company on a project funded with public resources.

  • Anonymous
    Em Rating:
    #3 18, 42, Mon, May 02 2011

    I agree with Nellie's comments wholeheartedly!But have to add, that electing laws must ne changed!Irrespective of how many dual citizenship people there are-they should only be allowed to vote where they reside permanently and prove that with current paper work.
    Bulgarians should insist on changing the electoral and voting laws and make it compulsory to vote-like Australia!

  • Anonymous
    Nellie Rating:
    #2 22, 38, Mon, Mar 29 2010

    This party should be illegal. Any party formed on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or gender should be illegal. Rights and freedoms should be for everyone in Bulgaria, not just the ethnic Turkish minority. It is ridiculous to have a party based on ethnicity.

  • Anonymous
    mbk Rating:
    #1 00, 11, Sat, Mar 27 2010

    This party needs to disbanded as it serves no interests of the 'minorities' it is intended to protect. Many people would cheer, ethnic Turks as well, believe me.

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