Bulgaria Parliament Appoints Ivan Ivanov Energy Watchdog Head
Ivan Ivanov, the single candidate to become the chair of Bulgaria's energy regulator KEVR, has now been picked by Parliament to take over the body.
Ivanov was backed by an overwhelming majority of 142 MPs, with only ten against and 15 abstaining.
Two socialist lawmakers and seven from nationalist Ataka party were among those who did not vote "yes".
Ivan Ivanov, an energy expert and former lawmaker in three legislatures elected on the ticket of right-wing Democrats from Strong Bulgaria (DSB), now a party of the Reformist Bloc coalition (a junior partner in the government), is still though to be close to the RB.
In November 2014, he quit the leadership structures of DSB and since has had substantial contribution to former PM and DSB leader Ivan Kostov's Risk Management Lab, a think-tank based at the New Bulgarian University for whose analyses two consecutive governments have paid a hefty subscription.
The Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR), until recently DKEVR (the "D" in the acronym stood for "State") has been headed by Svetla Todorova in the past few months, appointed by the August-November 2014 interim government. But earlier this year Parliament moved to amend the Energy Act, and the regulator's management is now to be appointed by the legislature and not by the government as it was until now.
KEVR has been in the spotlight over the past years, facing constant accusations of being subject to political control and steering the price of electricity (the EU's lowest) under the government's guidance to avoid social unrest.
The body's decision to push prices up in 2013 led to the resignation of Boyko Borisov as PM during his first tenure.
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