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Bulgaria justice minister quits ahead of EU judicial reform report

[JURIST] Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev [official website] said Saturday that he had accepted the resignation [press release, in Bulgarian] of Justice Minister Georgi Petkanov [official profile, in English] ahead of an expected European Commission report on the country's ongoing judiciary reforms [JURIST report]. Petkanov said Wednesday that he was tired of the difficult job of judiciary reform, and wanted to resign for personal reasons. Stanishev also announced that he had accepted the resignation of Economy and Energy Minister Rumen Ovcharov [official profile, in English]. In April, Ovcharov and other government officials accused one another of diverting funds from state companies, blackmail, and other forms of corruption. In early May, Ovcharov offered his resignation, but tabled it before renewing the offer Friday.

Stanishev has not indicated who will replace the two ministers, but did say that the reforms "will continue with new energy". The EU judicial reform report, expected in coming weeks, will likely be critical of the slow progress the country has made in eliminating corruption since joining the EU [JURIST report] earlier this year. AFP has more.

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