Bulgarian Air Force Chief Still Waiting for Discharge
Bulgarian Air Force Commander Maj Gen Rumen Radev has made clear he will refrain from public comments until authorities approve his request to be discharged from the military.
Radev submitted his resignation on Monday, with the Defense Ministry citing his entitlement to a pension. The cabinet that has to propose, upon his resignation, that the latter be discharged from the military. The proposal then has to be approved from the President, who is the Bulgarian Armed Forces' Commander-in-Chief.
Deputy Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova has denied that the government was intentionally delaying the discharge procedure.
His move followed reports that the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the biggest opposition force, sees him as a possible candidate in the presidential elections this November.
Georgi Parvanov, the head of left-wing ABV party with which the BSP is in talks over a joint nomination, has also pointed to him as a an appropriate person to take over the presidency.
However, being his own party's initial proposal as a prospective nominee in the talks, Parvanov has refrained from categorically endorsing the commander.
Mixed comments have appeared since Radev's name appeared in the presidential race, with left-leaning media outlets praising his qualities and right-leaning media outlets alleging he has been working against the Air Force's interests by actually obstructing its modernization.
In October, Radev stepped down citing numerous issues in the Air Force, with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov talking him out of the move with the promise his concerns would be addressed.
On Tuesday, Borisov however said the commander's move turned him into a politicized figure and slammed at the left-wing parties for not having enough "party candidates" for the elections. Borisov's own GERB party is yet to announce its own nominee, amid speculation the Prime Minister seeks to run himself.
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