Second nominated backer says he does not support Libertas

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THE APPLICATION by Libertas for recognition as a pan-European party and EU funding descended into farce last night when a second nominated backer said he did not support the anti-Lisbon organisation.

Bulgarian MP Mincho Kuminev, who is one of seven signatories to Libertas’s application to the European Parliament for some €200,000 in funds, said he never signed an application for Libertas to receive funds and was surprised his name was on the list of Libertas supporters.

“I have no intention of leaving the Bulgarian party system to join a foreign party. My only contact with Libertas was when I met Jens Peter Bonde at a conference in Bulgaria . . . I never signed any application or document in relation to Libertas,” Mr Kuminev told The Irish Times.

Under the rules governing the founding of European political parties, an organisation must present an application with the signature of at least seven European or national politicians from different countries.

Mr Kuminev’s comments came just hours after Libertas published photographs showing the signature of Estonian MP Igor Grazin on documents supporting the application of Libertas as a European political party.

Libertas said it released the photographs to end the “disgraceful allegations” that it somehow acted improperly with respect to Mr Grazin, who, through the Liberal group, sent an affidavit to parliament president Hans-Gert Pöttering denying he had signed Libertas’s application.

The European Parliament has decided to launch an investigation into the Libertas application and has put the €200,000 it granted to the group “on hold”.

Libertas said last night it condemned the “intimidation” of signatories to its application for political party status. It insisted that Mr Kuminev had “consciously and kindly” signed the document. “We are mildly amused that the other Libertas signatories have not been persuaded to suffer from amnesia,” it said in a statement.

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