Two left-wing Bulgarian opposition parties have filed a complaint with the country’s Constitutional Court on July 21, alleging that process to appoint a new chairperson of the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) was unconstitutional.
The complaint was filed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the socialist splinter ABC, which until recently was a minority partner in the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB, as well as two independent MPs.
The suit alleged that Parliament breached its own rules, which stipulate a 14-day period for nominations whenever the House has to consider an appointment to regulatory bodies. The motion on the rules to appoint a new FSC chairperson, which Parliament adopted last week, set a five-day nomination period.
Under Bulgarian law, the court will first have to decide whether the complaint is admissible, but it has no deadline for hearing the case. If the court decides to take on the case, it would likely take months to issue a ruling, based on its previous practice. In the meantime, the filing of the complaint will not automatically suspend the proceedings and the House is expected to hold a vote on the appointment next week, before it adjourns for the summer recess.
The term of incumbent FSC chairperson Stoyan Mavrodiev expired in June and Bulgaria’s laws stipulate that the proceedings to appoint a replacement or confirm the incumbent for another term must be finalised no later than a month before the expiration of the term. His tenure at the helm of the regulator has seen several high-profile controversies.
Media reports claimed that the delay in starting the appointment proceedings was due to an internal disagreement within GERB whether to endorse Mavrodiev for a second term (Mavrodiev was an MP for GERB before his appointment to the FSC) or nominate Deputy Finance Minister Karina Karaivanova for the job.
Karaivanova was the only nomination submitted to Parliament before the deadline expired on July 20.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)