General Stoyan Tonev, head of Bulgarian Parliament’s health committee, resigned as an MP and GERB party posts on February 24, following a meeting with Prime Minister Boiko Borissov.
Pressure had been mounting on Tonev for days after an audit found suspicions of alleged abuses that led to losses of about 10 million leva while he headed the Military Medical Academy.
Reports said that Borissov wanted Tonev out both as head of the committee and as an MP, but earlier in the day, the PM had said Tonev would stay on unless prosecutors could present proof of Tonev’s wrongdoing. However, after meeting Borissov just several hours later, Tonev resigned all his political posts, saying that this would ensure that the investigation against him would not be compromised.
Earlier, Tonev attended a hearing by the executive committee of GERB, Borissov’s party that is the majority partner in the centre-right coalition cabinet.
He is reported to have informed committee members that he had submitted applications to the Prosecutor-General and to the President of the Court of Auditors insisting on full inspections to establish the legality of the management and the contracts of the Military Medical Academy for the period from August 28 2012 to January 1 2015.
This includes the period that Tonev headed the academy. It was not immediately clear why the inspection was wanted to cover this period.
According to a report by Bulgarian National Television, not only Borissov but the entire executive committee had withdrawn their confidence in Tonev.
However, on February 24, senior GERB member Roumyana Buchvarova, who is also a deputy prime minister, said that there was no clear position about what should become of Tonev.
Tonev, after heading the Military Medical Academy for many years, was briefly Sofia’s deputy mayor in charge of the health portfolio, and in 2014 became an MP for GERB and the head of the Parliamentary portfolio committee on health.
An audit by the Defence Ministry of the MMA recently found that while Tonev headed the hospital, a private company had been operating within the dermatology department, allegedly generating losses of 10 million leva.
A report by Mediapool said that the current head of the MMA, Nikolai Petrov, said that he would decide whether to impose a disciplinary sanction on the chief of the department of dermatology and the co-owner of the private company Derma Prim, Miroslava Kadurina.
Petrov said that the contracts of two other companies also had been terminated because they were unprofitable for the hospital.
(Photo via BNT)