Bulgarian President Parvanov Steps Down, Enter Plevneliev
Sunday, January 22 is the day Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov officially hands the Presidency to successor Rosen Plevneliev.
Plevneliev, who swore in as President in front of Bulgaria's Parliament Thursday, was nominated in fall presidential elections by ruling center-right GERB party.
The erstwhile popular Regional Development Minister, won with some 53% of the vote at the second round, against the Bulgarian Socialist Party's candidate, MEP Ivaylo Kalfin.
President Parvanov steps down after fulfilling his two constitutional 5-year terms in office. He was first elected in 2001 and then reelected in 2006.
He is expected to return to the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which he chaired before becoming Bulgaria's President, perhaps to reclaim his leadership position.
The handing down of the presidency is set to start in Sofia at 11 am with a ceremony in front of the Unknown Warrior monument.
In the presence of senior persons of state, such as Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva and PM Boyko Borisov, Presidents Parvanov and Plevneliev will give speaches.
Then a ceremony is scheduled at the presidency building, when Parvanov will welcome Plevneliev to a meeting, upon which Plevneliev will see Parvanov off.
In his speech in front of Parliament Thursday, Plevneliev vowed to be a President who is both pragmatic and non-confrontational, and to develop thorough strategies for Bulgaria's development.
Sunday the new Bulgarian President will hold his first meeting in office, with EU Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Kristalina Georgieva.
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