Bulgaria’s Government has appointed Anzhela Toneva as the new head of the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (SEWRC) and has filled the other six vacancies in the regulator by appointing new members.
Toneva will serve the remainder of the current term as SEWRC chairperson, which expires in September 2014. She is the fourth person to hold the position over the past five months – during this period, Bulgaria has seen tens of thousands of people march in protest rallies against high electricity prices and a spike in electricity bills in January.
The protests came shortly after then-prime minister Boiko Borissov sacked Angel Semerdjiev because of poor progress in drafting administrative regulations related to EU’s Third energy package. At the height of the February protests, Borissov appointed Yuliana Ivanova to the vacant position, but she resigned only days later when it emerged that a company she owned had been illicitly trading online in cigarettes.
Ivanova served as acting chairperson until March, when Borissov appointed deputy economy minister and former SEWRC member Evgenia Haritonova to the position. Haritonova, however, resigned on June 5 and was swiftly replaced by Toneva.
Toneva has served as a member of SEWRC since 2009, but has been employed by the regulator since 2001 – including as an expert and then as department head. She holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of National and World Economics in Sofia.
Toneva was among the six members of the regulator who submitted their resignations in February, during the protest rallies, but is one of only two commissioners re-appointed to SEWRC.
The Cabinet has appointed Mihail Dimitrov, Elenko Bozhkov and Ilian H. Iliev to new five-year terms. Milena Milanova (the other returning member of the regulator), Dimitar Dimitrov and Ilian B. Iliev were appointed to carry out the remainder of terms expiring in September 2014.