The Bulgarian State Prosecutor Wants to Shut down NGO Illegally Funding Political Party

The State Attorney Sotir Tsatsarov demanded that the NGO "Association Batu Platform" gets relieved from its license on the accusation that the NGO has been an arbiter between a Turkish bank and DOST - a political party that branched out of the Movement for Rights and liberties after the Movement's former leader Lutfi Mestan got involved in a scandal.Mestan is DOST's founder and leader. The NGO is registered in Kardzhali and Tsatsarov has taken all legal steps to its work.

During an investigation on violations of the voters' rights the District Attorney's Office in Dobrich found evidence that on March 14th, 2017 the NGO received a transaction of 100 000 BGN (50k Euro) from the Turkish bank TURKIYE VAKIFLAR BANKASI. There is still no information as to who is behind the transaction.

The NGO used the money to buy goods such as sugar, flour, rice, and pasta and sort them in individual packages - each containing goods for about 30 BGN (15 Euro). The packages were sent to 15 different cities, where members of the NGO and members of DOST would hand out the packages for free to Bulgarian Muslims, encouraging them to vote for the newly formed political party.

This breaks several laws, and some of them - more than once. Two of the most important violations, however, are the attempt to buy votes and the funding through anonymous unidentified donors.

The press secretary of the State Attorney stated that Mr. Tsatsarov hopes that the situation would resolve quickly and that the NGO will no longer be, because of its violations of the Constitution, of several laws and good morals.

Vasil Manev

Vasil Manev is a student in Computer Science and an aspiring columnist, studying in Heidelberg, Germany.

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