Fighting corruption out on the streets
Bulgaria's new anti-corruption agency, the KPKONPI, had the mayor of the Sofia district of Mladost, Desislava Ivancheva, arrested yesterday. She allegedly took 500,000 euros in bribes for issuing a building permit. Commentators discuss the circumstances of Ivancheva's arrest, which took place in the middle of Sofia and was documented by the media over a period of several hours.
An unbearable media show
The manner of the mayor's arrest raises doubts, e-vestnik comments:
“The police stops a car in the middle of Sofia and the television teams are already there. The woman is made to stand on the street in handcuffs for several hours until they've all filmed her. Money is found in the boot of the car. ... If they had been listening in on her conversations, why didn't they arrest her when the money changed hands? That's how it's done, not by stopping cars and searching them in the middle of the street. Something is fishy about this money. It could have been planted, like you see in films.”
Good that the corrupt politician had to suffer
It's entirely appropriate that the mayor's arrest took place in the media spotlight, columnist Slavi Angelov comments in 24 Chasa:
“If we were living in a normal country where Ivancheva would wind up in jail, I'd say that too much of a show was made of her arrest. But Bulgaria is not a normal country and she will never see the inside of a jail. ... For that reason I find the way she was arrested wonderful. If there isn't to be a real fight against corruption, then at least the people should have something to see. ... Even if years later she files a complaint against Bulgaria in the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, at least we'll have the satisfaction of having watched the whole spectacle from the front row.”