Bulgarian Cabinet appoints new consumer watchdog line-up

Bulgaria’s Cabinet appointed three new members to the Commission for Consumer Protection (CPC) on March 11, with Dimitar Yotov as the new head of the watchdog, the government media service said.

Yotov replaces Vesselin Zlatev, who was appointed in 2011 under the previous Boiko Borissov administration and whose term has expired. The other two new members of the CPC are Konstantin Arabadjiev and Konstantin Raikov, who will replace Alexander Maslarski and fill in a vacancy at CPC.

Yotov has a degree in law and has held department head positions in the regional development, education and foreign affairs ministries, the Government statement said.

He is also, according to reports in Bulgarian-language media, the spouse of Maria Karabelyova-Margaritova, chief of staff to Meglena Kouneva, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Bulgaria for Citizens, a constituent party of the Reformist Bloc centre-right coalition, which is a partner in the current government.

Economist Arabadjiev, who has a degree in tourism, and lawyer Raikov are both members of the executive council of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), another party in the Reformist Bloc. Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski, who made the nominations, is the UDF leader.

By law, CPC members cannot hold leadership positions in political parties, meaning that both Arabadjiev and Raikov will have to resign their party posts to avoid conflict of interest.

The appointments were announced without any competition to fill the vacancies, even though several Reformist Bloc politicians have advocated, in the past, that such competitions are held to increase transparency. One notable public row last year was caused by the appointment of Iva Yordanova as deputy head of the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, with Bulgarian media focusing on her close personal friendship with Lukarski. She resigned five days after her appointment.

(Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers building. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)



The Sofia Globe staff

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