Council of Europe supports Krum Zarkov's proposal for Prosecutor General investigation
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe announced its support for the draft law on amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code as proposed by caretaker Justice Minister Krum Zarkov. The draft bill introduces a new mechanism for investigation of the Prosecutor General and increases the efficiency of criminal proceedings. Moreover, the decision of the Committee of Ministers explicitly states that the alternative mechanism proposed in the 48th National Assembly by Vazrazhdane, which provides for the Director of the National Investigation Service to be appointed as the temporary prosecutor investigating the Prosecutor General, does not provide any guarantees of practical and institutional independence.
Industrial production down slightly in January
Industrial production contracted by 4.3% in January compared to the same month of the previous year according to calendar-adjusted data published by the National Statistics Institute (NSI) on Friday. Compared to December 2022, there was also a contraction - by 3%, seasonally adjusted data, the NSI added.
On a year-on-year basis, the decline in industrial production was observed in the production and distribution of electricity, heat and gas (by 28.9%), and in mining and quarrying (by 18.5%), while there was an increase in manufacturing by 4% on an annual basis. The decline in energy production is explained by the warm winter, which greatly reduced the need for consumption.
MRF and Vazrazhdane to contest third place on 2 April: Gallup International
If the upcoming elections were to be held in early March, there would again be parity between the reformist coalition of WCC and Democratic Bulgaria and GERB - with the two factions receiving almost identical support - 27.2% and 26.6%, respectively. This is according to the latest pre-election poll published by Gallup International on Friday. The difference between them would be less than one percentage point. It also appears that the result of the third and the fourth power - MRF and Vazrazhdane - would be very close, promising an interesting race for the third place. The ethnic movement would get 13.4% and Kostadin Kostadinov's party is poised to get 12.3%. BSP remains in fifth position with 7.3%. Below the 4% line, but with the possibility of jumping the barrier and enter parliament, are Bulgarian Rise with 3.7%, TISP with 3.4% and The Left with 3.2%.