SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's supreme judicial council has elected Ivan Geshev as the country's chief prosecutor, despite public criticism of him.

The top judicial panel voted 20-4 on Thursday to elect Geshev, currently a deputy chief prosecutor, for a 7-year term. Geshev, 49, was the only candidate for the powerful post, which sparked protests from critics who called the election fixed.

Hundreds of anti-corruption protesters later blocked one of the main intersections in downtown Sofia, the capital, for hours, causing traffic chaos. They claim that corrupt politicians and oligarchs are behind Geshev's election, aiming to guarantee they will not be prosecuted in the future.

Although Transparency International says Bulgaria is the most corrupt of the European Union's 28 nations, so far no top Bulgarian officials have been convicted on graft charges.