Borislav Sandov, who nominated himself for Minister of Environment, started an outrage with his idea to change the status of more than 37 million hectares of agricultural land, agricultural producers informed Scandal. Sandov wants to turn this land into forest territories. He has submitted a proposal for amendment of the Spatial Development Act during his mandates as a member of the two short-lived Bulgarian Parliaments this year. The proposal aims to include more forests in the state forest fund, obviously supporting the mission of ecological NGOs. Meanwhile, the national representative, who did not make it in the parliament this time, also proposed a time period in which the landowners need to report their plans for use of their land; if they missed the deadline, then their forests would be automatically included in the forest fund. The public may not be familiar with the details of the Forest Act, but according to it, once classified as a forest, a territory cannot be moved to another category.
There are thousands of agricultural fields which cannot be used because their owners have migrated or their inheritors find it difficult to split the land. Some fields are partially overgrown. Meanwhile access to land is a major problem in engaging young people to work in the field of agriculture. Such territories may present opportunities for future farmers and, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased interest in farming. The amendment proposed by Borislav Sandov would leave no hope for the young farmers of the future.
The intent of the “green” Sandov to dispose of private property is extremely troubling. It reminds of an old obscure time of collectivization which still has its live witnesses. Borislav Sandov, born in the 1980’s, apparently does not comprehend what emotions his actions would evoke in millions of Bulgarian citizens.
The political failures of Sandov, however, are quite striking. At the elections in April in his home province of Smolyan he collected 418 personal preferences. In July he got 528 preferences, but for the elections in November he was removed from the electoral roll of the province due to his extravagant green ideas threatening the livelihood of thousands in the Rhodopes area.
For this reason, Sandov was nominated as a frontrunner in the roll of Democratic Bulgaria in Montana Province, where he received the modest 127 votes, while the second and the third in the list got more votes than him.
Failing to become a national representative from Montana or the 25th electoral district in Sofia, where he has lost more than 40% of his personal supporters probably due to unsatisfactory results, Sandov nominated himself for Minister of Environment from the quota of Democratic Bulgaria.
In 2016 Sandov was convicted of criminal defamation against the now deceased entrepreneur Lachezar Tsotsorkov. He considers the priorities of NGOs above the interest of the Bulgarian citizens and is evidently not wanted or preferred by the voters. Can such a person, without a single day of employment different from campaigning for NGOs, head a ministry? Can Sandov, whose only personal property acquired in his mature life is a Ford Fiesta bought for BGN 2000 in 2021 by him and his spouse, manage billions under different programs and funds? Hardly. In a time when all Bulgarian citizens expect a change for the better, such national experiments cannot be allowed.