Bulgarian Socialist PM Candidate Replaces Scandalous Ministerial Nominee

Politics » DOMESTIC | May 28, 2013, Tuesday // 09:52

Bulgarian Socialist Prime Minister candidate Plamen Oresharski has replaced controversial Investment Planning Minister nominee Kalin Tiholov with Ivan Danov.

Speaking before entering the President's Office to present the government formed with the mandate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Oresharski made clear that Danov had a serious academic career and substantial practical experience.

Orehsarski, as cited by Sega daily, told journalists Tuesday morning that Kalin Tiholov had withdrawn "in order to not obstruct dialogue with civil society."

Commenting on the proposed new Investment Planning Ministry, he said that it would have a different portfolio from the existing Regional Development Ministry.

The socialist PM candidate explained the establishment of an Investment Planning Ministry with the need to boost EU funds absorption through long-term projects.

Kalin Tiholov, nominee for Investment Planning Minister in the government formed with the mandate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), stepped down from the panel amid public outcry.

Shortly after the announcement of his nomination, Tiholov was reported to have been involved in the so-called "Dunes Gate" scandal from early 2013 concerning construction on sand dunes in a protected area on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

Tiholov's name was also related to the drafting of the controversial detailed spatial development plan of the Tsarevo municipality over which the European Commission launched infringement proceedings against Bulgaria.

The scandalous spatial development plan envisaged construction works on a territory of the Strandzha Natural Park.

Tiholov's nomination caused environmentalists to organize a protest scheduled for 7pm on Wednesday at the Orlov Most junction in Sofia.

In his Tuesday media statement, Tiholov claimed that the media had disseminated false allegations about him which undermined his professional reputation as an architect.

Tiholov suggested that he was the victim of a smear campaign aimed at escalating public tension and inciting mistrust against him and the Oresharski cabinet which is to be voted by Parliament Wednesday.

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Tags: Plamen Oresharski, Bulgarian Socialist Party, Rosen Plevneliev, kalin tiholov
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