The co-chairman of “We continue the change” Kiril Petkov and the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Kalin Stoyanov clashed head-on on Nova TV on the topics of police violence and political interference in the work of the Ministry of the Interior. The two got into insane arguments about when and how many times they met, who launched Stoyanov and whether Petkov was putting pressure on him. Finally, Petkov stated that Stoyanov is no longer their minister, but of GERB and DPS, while the MIA chief believes that there are no problems and everyone is still one team.
Kiril Petkov explained in detail how he chose Kalin Stoyanov as the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. When forming the government for the Ministry of the Interior, they were looking for a person who was not politically bound, but who was neutral. GERB proposed several candidates, which PP-DB rejected. GERB also rejected PP-DB candidates. In the end, Kalin Stoyanov was submitted by GERB as an expert figure, which Petkov accepted after conducting an interview with him. For him, he knew that he was young, had investigated sacks of money destined for the highways, and held positions that were normal for the change they wanted. Before becoming a minister, Stoyanov asked to ask his wife. After two days he agreed.
Petkov rejected accusations that he had put political pressure on Stoyanov, saying he had met him only once – in August. Then, while everyone was on vacation, Stoyanov suddenly decided to change 17 heads of regional police directorates. “It’s his job, but I went to talk to him because I wanted to know if the election was based on having fair elections and if this purge was professionally oriented. “I asked him if he was sure that no one was influencing him, that he can trust everyone he replaces. He assured me that if we wanted him to be held accountable, we should let him do his job as he saw fit. I haven’t spoken to him since then,” explained Petkov. He added that he didn’t say a single name to be assigned.
Petkov repeated that he wants the resignation of the MIA chief for two reasons – that after the protests he did not categorically condemn the police violence against peaceful citizens and because of the political affiliations that became apparent after the ardent defense by GERB and DPS. “After the footage, if he had said that it was unacceptable for police officers to beat citizens in coffee shops and that he would do everything possible to hold the offenders accountable… And he said that everything was okay, everyone had done it, a calm feeling, this blew up our parliamentary group. You can’t beat them with a baton and the minister say he’s not outraged. It’s unacceptable that the capital is burning and you’re at the cinema,” Petkov pointed out. According to him, it is not enough to say that you condemn violence, but to ensure that it will be punished.
“Before the facts were seen, GERB and DPS jumped to defend the minister like life and death. If they defend him before they have heard the truth, I doubt that there is a political dependence. Until yesterday I did not know that there was one, but today I see. “Since Borisov has a problem, he wants to get rid of it, and now he stands with his chest to defend it, without having seen the details,” he pointed out.
Petkov directly accused GERB leader Boyko Borisov of lying several times. Apart from the question of who proposed Kalin Stoyanov, Borisov also lied that one of the deputy ministers in the Ministry of Internal Affairs was appointed only because he was Petkov’s bodyguard. “We are talking about Kiril Tsenkin, he is a great professional, 6 years ago he was Borisov’s bodyguard as well. It is high time that Borisov starts telling the truth. Tsenkin managed teams in the NSO and is not just a security guard,” said Petkov.
In the middle of the conversation with Petkov on the phone, Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov surprisingly intervened and started refuting the PP leader. “The meeting was not one, but several – at the Ministry of the Interior, and this can be verified. There were also many telephone conversations in which he tried to interfere in the activities and personnel policy of the Ministry of the Interior – which employee should we put in which management position , and not to remove some of the directors that I wanted to remove”, claims Stoyanov. This apparently angered Petkov and he entered into a direct dialogue with Stoyanov.
“Since August, have you had a call from me?” Petkov asked. “And until August? Until then, there were many conversations and personal meetings,” countered Stoyanov. “I have never spoken to you by name,” insisted Petkov. Stoyanov continued to repeat that Petkov had met with him at the Ministry of the Interior many times.
Petkov asked to find out if there were other leaders with whom the MIA chief had met. Stoyanov admitted that he had meetings with Delyan Peevski and Boyko Borisov, but they were on the sidelines of the parliament. And he tried to direct the attack on the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who is a personal appointment of the Prime Minister and who, for some reason, was left out of the scandal surrounding the police violence during the protest against the BFS, even though he is the highest professional position in the ministry. “The operational leadership of the services rests with the chief secretary,” repeated Stoyanov several times, but Petkov did not bring up this topic.
Asked if he would distance himself from police brutality, he said he was against it, that he did not tolerate that kind of behavior, and that anyone who overstepped their rights would be subject to disciplinary or criminal liability, and there would be results soon. “I don’t see what the problem is, we have trust, we work, we are one team, I don’t argue with anyone,” Stoyanov surprisingly stated. According to him, the talks with Petkov ended when he realized that he would not succumb to his influence. At the same time, when asked by the journalists whether it is proper and legal for a police officer to beat a fallen and already disarmed container arsonist with a baton, Stoyanov answered with a counter question whether it is proper for the person in question to set fire to containers. From his reaction, it is not clear and categorical that he is against police violence and will guarantee punishments for police officers who have exceeded their rights.
“I’m not making excuses, but you are trying to put everyone under a common denominator,” Stoyanov pointed out. “No, 95% of the policemen did their job well,” answered Petkov, who again scolded him for not being at the protest, but at the cinema. “The professional figure in the Ministry of the Interior should be on the field, you come to the front row, to experience the emotion of the protesters next time,” he invited him. “I certainly won’t be with you at the cinema,” Petkov responded.
After the stormy conversation, Petkov concluded that if he was in favor of expert figures until now, after what happened, he is of the opinion that people who are clearly politically connected should be appointed as ministers so that they can bear political responsibility. However, according to him, with the exception of Stoyanov, the rest of his ministers are experts. He singled out their minister, who, according to him, is not doing his job – of electronic governance, Alexander Iolovski. At the moment, he is being questioned by the prosecutor’s office regarding the dramas with the machine vote in the local elections, that is why Petkov refused to comment in substance about him.