Bulgaria’s new socialist government purges more senior officials

The head of Bulgaria’s State Energy and Water Regulation Commission (SEWRC), the head of the Public Financial Inspection Agency and 19 regional governors, including those of the Sofia region, all lost their jobs on June 5 2013 as the new socialist government continued its purges.

A day earlier, the head of the Sofia police directorate and a number of police chiefs in a number of other cities and towns were axed for what the Interior Ministry described in a statement as “poor performance”.

Earlier, the Interior Ministry chief secretary resigned, with the appointment of Svetlozar Lazarov pending to take up this post, as did the head of the State Agency for National Security.

When a new head of the SEWRC is announced, it would be the fourth this year. Angel Semerdjiev was fired in January 2013 because of poor progress in drafting administrative regulations related to EU’s Third energy package, which led the European Commission to refer Bulgaria to the European Court of Justice. He was replaced by Yuliana Ivanova, who resigned on February 17, just days after her appointment when it emerged that a company she owned had been illicitly trading online in cigarettes.

Ivanova was replaced by Evgenia Haritonova, whose resignation was reported on June 5. Haritonova had been scheduled to serve out the term of office of her predecessors, which would have expired in September 2014.

The new membership of the commission would be announced by close of business on June 5, according to Plamen Oresharski, appointed as prime minister in the socialist cabinet, which held its first meeting today.

Ginka Draganinska becomes the new head of the Public Financial Inspection Agency, replacing Temenuzhka Petkova who left “by mutual consent” the Finance Ministry said on June 5.

Draganinska has a local university qualification in economics and has worked in various audit and financial control positions in the public service.

The regional governors dismissed at the first meeting of the Oresharski administration are those of Blagoevgrad, Bourgas, Veliko Turnov, Vidin, Vratsa, Gabrovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pernik, Pleven, Rousse, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Turgovishte and Shoumen.

Meanwhile, on June 5, Parliament voted to set up a multi-party committee to investigate the use of state aircraft during the Boiko Borissov government from 2009 to 2013. The committee will be chaired by Ventsislav Lakov, an MP for Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalist Ataka party.

Borissov said that the new government was obsessed by changing the chief directorate for organised crime and the State Agency for National Security, as well as the Air Force detachment in charge of government flights, and had taken a “wrong turning” away from addressing the concerns of ordinary Bulgarians.





The Sofia Globe staff

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