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Bulgaria parl't elects new deputy governor

Fri, 29th May 2009 11:35

SOFIA, May 29 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's parliament on Friday appointed Nikola
i Nenovski as deputy governor of the central bank in charge of the Balkan country's currency board, which is seen as a key safeguard against the global financial crisis.

Nenovski, 46, a professor in monetary theory and international finance, was elected with 113 votes to head the bank's Issue Department from October for a six-year term, replacing Tsvetan Manchev. Only six deputies voted against.

Manchev's mandate expires on Oct. 22 and the law says a replacement can be chosen not earlier than three months before the term ends.

But the ruling Socialist-led coalition pushed the vote early to cement its appointees in positions at the bank ahead of the July 5 parliamentary election, a move slammed by the opposition.

Opinion polls show the right-wing opposition GERB party, which is not currently present in parliament, would win the elections amid growing discontent over rampant high-level corruption and the economic crisis.

On Thursday, the chamber also re-elected governor Ivan Iskrov for a second six-year term early and some legal experts said the early votes, in breach with the central bank law, might allow the next parliament to challenge the appointments.

The GERB party declined to say whether it would seek a revision of the appointments after the July elections.

'We do not like to comment on the professional qualities of the elected. But we cannot agree with the approach,' said Vladislav Goranov, a financial advisor for the GERB party.

The ruling coalition said the early election was needed to ensure stability at the bank in times of a global crisis.

All parties see the currency board as a cornerstone for the European Union newcomer's financial and economic stability and agree that the euro peg should be kept until Bulgarian joins the euro zone, which analysts say would not happen before 2015.

Prior to his appointment, Nenovski has served a six-year term on the central bank's governing board. He is a lecturer at Bulgaria's University for National and World Economy.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Ilieva; editing by Toby Chopra) Keywords: BULGARIA CBANK/GOVERNOR

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