Who is Who: Rumyana Bachvarova, New Bulgarian Interior Minister
Bulgaria's Parliament approved on Wednesday, March 11, the appointment of Rumyana Bachvarova as Interior Minister.
This followed the resignation of her predecessor Veselin Vuchkov over disagreement with Prime Minister on personal reshuffles at his institutions.
First reactions on her appointment were mixed. An MP from the governing GERB party approved her candidacy described her as the likely "Bulgarian Iron Lady", and a lawmaker from the Bulgarian Democratic Center (BDC), an opposition coalition, asked, in his speech to support her in Parliament before the vote: "Why shouldn't the Interior Ministry have clever person as its boss?"
Others like the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), however, warn Bachvarova will not really be at the helm of the Interior Ministry, hinting she will be led "from behind."
She has increasingly turned into Borisov's closest aide. Since November, she has been Deputy Prime Minister in charge of coalition policy and state administration his coalition government. Now she will retain both posts.
She also played a vital role in GERB’s three-member team of negotiators who held talks over forging a coalition government with other parties represented in Parliament following inconclusive October 5 early elections.
For years, during GERB's previous tenure, she was actually one of the key officials "leading from behind", being PM Borisov's Chief of Staff.
Bachvarova, born in 1959, has a degree in sociology from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski.
An experienced professional in marketing and media surveys, public communications and advertisement market, she ran a polling agency called Market Links prior to her inclusion in the political cabinet in 2009.
Market Links polling agency made headlines before the general elections in 2009 after forecasting that GERB party will win the vote by a large margin. Most surveys at that time said the party of Sofia mayor Boyko Borisov had a negligible lead over the Socialist party.
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