21.37 Europe/London, August 17, 2011 By Robert Briel

The Bulgarian nationalist party Ataka is planning its own TV channel, Alfa TV and the country’s regulator, the Council for Electronic Media (SEM) is close to issuing a licence, according to the Sofia News Agency.

Although SEM has initially returned the application from Ataka for the registration of the channel, issuing the licence is only a matter of time.

According to Georgi Lozanov, chairman of SEM’s Supervisory Board, Ataka needs to remedy a number of omissions in the documents filed, after which they will be reexamined within a week’s time. “The follow-up procedure takes very little time”, Lozanov told journalists.

For the first time since its establishment, SEM will have to decide on the registration of a TV channel owned by a political party. In Lozanov’s opinion “there is no legal obstacle to this”.

Bulgaria’s Radio and Television Act does not rule out the registration of such TV stations.

Alfa TV, as named in the registration papers, has applied for a public operator with national coverage, 24-hour broadcasts with an informational and educational profile.