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Sofia Municipality Public Mediator
On May 23, 2001, Sofia Municipal Council decided a Public Mediator Institution to be established for the Sofia Municipality region and adopted the Rules on the Organization and Activities of the Sofia Municipality Public Mediator.

The Public Mediator will operate on an experimental basis until the legislative regulation of the institution. The newly elected National Assembly is expected to adopt the Draft Law on Ombudsman, which was elaborated by an Expert Task Force to the CSD Law Program and was introduced to the previous Parliament by a group of MPs. The Draft Law provides for the possibility local mediators to be established.

The Sofia Municipality Public Mediator will be elected by the Sofia Municipal Council through a competition for a period of 2 years but for not more than two consecutive mandates.

The Public Mediator will consider complaints by natural persons notwithstanding their citizenship as well as by legal persons and other organizations against illegal and unreasonable acts and actions of the local authorities, violations of the procedures for administrative services providing as well as against cases of incompetence, unfairness, delay or disrespect of citizens' dignity. The powers of the institution do not refer to the interrelations between the local administration units, the privatization and the municipal business entities, issues from citizens' private life and the court proceedings as well as the possibility for the Public Mediator to represent citizens in Court or other public institutions. The proceedings before the Public Mediator will be free of charge.

The powers of the Public Mediator include the performance of investigations, mediation between the parties, submission of signals and suggestions to the local authorities and making of public statements.

The Public Mediator will report to the Mayor of Sofia Municipality and to the Sofia Municipal Council and will be liable before them for violations committed.

Currently in Bulgaria several similar acting local institutions in a number of municipalities (Shumen, Varna, Razgrad, Veliko Turnovo, Stara Zagora, Koprivshtitsa, Pleven, etc.) are operating, established upon the initiative of Coalition 2000 and its partners.
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