Organised Crime "Invested" BGN 200 M in Bulgaria Local Polls Sofia_News_Agency - 2007/12/12
Organised crime circles had "invested" roughly BGN 200 M to buy votes at last month's local elections in Bulgaria, think-tank Centre for Study of Democracy (CSD) claimed on Wednesday.
The think-tank made the claim at a round table on organised crime, where it presented a report titled "Organised Crime in Bulgaria: Markets and Trends".
Organised crime rings in Bulgaria have a nationwide coverage and lynchpins that own perfectly legal businesses as cover, CSD Senior Fellow Tihomir Bezlov said.
Bulgaria's local polls have been plagued by widespread allegations of vote-buying, although only a handful of cases are being investigated by prosecutors.
The elections showed that the organised crime is entrenching itself in the local administration, said German Ambassador to Bulgaria Michael Geier, one of the speakers at the round table.