Five Ministers to Watch Carefully in Bulgaria's Interim Govt
Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev appointed his caretaker cabinet earlier this week.
The ministers, who will remain in office at least until early in April, will have to organize the snap general election due on March 26, continue the preparation of Bulgaria’s rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union due from January 01, 2018 and, to put it simple, keep the state up and running until an elected cabinet takes over.
Key appointments to the cabinet include both party affiliates and long-time experts. The Prime Minister, former Parliament Speaker Ognyan Gerdzhikov, has pledged to root out the trade in ballots, and to make sure all flawed public procurement procedures will be scrapped (more on Gerdzhikov is available here.)
The EU presidency portfolio in particular
is assigned to Denitsa Zlateva, a long-time international affairs secretary of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), who took over as Deputy Prime Minister in the new cabinet.She will assume the office until an elected government has been set up. Afterwards, Zlateva will return to the President's administration, where she will take the same functions.
Fluent in four languages (English, German, Russian and Spanish), she worked for the private sector before being elected as lawmakers in 2013. She is also a Vice-President for Central and Eastern Europe of the Socialist International Women.
At the Foreign Ministry, an official whose career at the institution began nearly 25 years ago is taking over as the country's top diplomat ad interim.
has "specialized" in postings to German-speaking countries.
In between them, he was Deputy Minister of Defense for a few months in the cabinet of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, before taking over as the last Bulgarian King's Chief of Staff.
His first job at the Foreign Ministry was a decade earlier, in 1992, followed by a posting as Third Secretary at the Embassy in Switzerland (1994-1996) and First Secretary at the Embassy in Germany (1999-2001). Between 2005 and 2011, he was Bulgaria's Ambassador to Austria. He then spent nine months (May 2011 - February 2012) as Permament Secretary at the Foreign Ministry. He was afterwards appointed Ambassador to Germany.
Kiril Ananiev used to be
"the eternal Deputy Finance Minister"
until his appointment at the helm of the institution this week.
Having spent 36 years of his life at the Finance Ministry, he served as its deputy head under five Prime Ministers, first in Ivan Kostov's government (1997-2001), then in those of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Sergey Stanishev which followed until 2009.
Boyko Borisov did not appoint him in his first administration in 2009 (and he was appointed financial secretary of the then President Georgi Parvanov), but Georgi Bliznashki did in 2014 while being the interim Prime Minister. Ananiev went on under Borisov's second government.
As it goes with every interim government,
the final word lies with the Interior Minister -
it is his institution that has the most crucial role in organizing the early election.
Plamen Uzunov was the police chief in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city, between 2013 and 2015.He then resigned over reports of violations, amid suspicions the police unit in Plovdiv had used its influence to try to cover up a road incident.
Uzunov began working for the Interior Ministry in 1993, having headed the Criminal Police department.
Reportedly, it was a conflict with Metodi Andreev, until recently a GERB lawmaker, that pushed him to step down. After resigning, he testified against Andreev as the latter was imposed a penalty by Parliament for attempts at influence peddling in Parvomay and Asenovgrad, two areas under the mandate of Plovdiv police. Allegedly, Andreev sought to exert pressure on Uzunov and thus secure a reshuffle at the Parvomay police division, offering a substitute for the head of the division.
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