Three Bulgarian Ministers Sacked, New Department Set up

Politics | February 21, 2005, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Three Bulgarian Ministers Sacked, New Department Set up PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg announced Monday personal and structural changes to the Cabinet that he is proposing to parliament. The new ministers will be put to the vote of MPs on February 23. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia News Agency)

Bulgaria's Ministers of Economy, Agriculture and Culture will leave the government in its third reshuffle since coming into office in 2001.

Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg announced Monday personal and structural changes to the Cabinet that he is proposing to parliament.

Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Lidia Shuleva and Agriculture Minister Mehmed Dikme are to leave the Cabinet, to be replaced respectively by current Energy Minister Milko Kovachev and Nihat Kabil, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and member of the junior coalition partner the Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

Along with Shuleva and Dikme, Culture Minister Bozhidar Abrashev will also be deposed from his post. A new ministry of Culture and Tourism is to be established, to be headed by Nina Chilova, MP from ruling party Simeon II National Movement.

Miroslav Sevlievski, floor leader of New Time party and member of the energy parliamentary commission, will head the Energy Ministry to replace Minister Milko Kovachev.

Lidia Shuleva will take on the pre-elections campaign of the Simeon II National Movement and will be in charge of elaborating the economy plan of the party for 2005-2010, the premier also announced.

"The important thing in the following months will be to persist in our work for the sake of our community, for the sake of our mother country," the prime minister said in his speech.

"I want to thank the ministers who are being replaced. I have no doubt that they will continue to be part of the same team in their hearts, and preserve their solidarity with the Cabinet's efforts."

The New Time, whose member will now head the Energy Ministry, is a small party of defectors from Simeon II National Movement, whose votes were crucial in deposing parliamentary chef Ognyan Gerdzhikov. They however traded their support in the last-minute to save the government during the non-confidence vote.

The changes in the cabinet will be put to the vote in parliament on Wednesday when the nomination of incumbents' MP Borislav Velikov for the position of parliamentary speaker will also be voted.

In February 2002 Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg signed orders for dismissal of Deputy Economy Minister Lyubka Kachakova, Deputy Finance Minister Atanas Katsarchev and Deputy Culture Minister Gancho Karabadzhakov, the press department with the Council of Ministers announced.

In July 2003 Transport Minister Plamen Petrov, Health Care Minister Bozhidar Finkov, Education Minister Vladimir Atanassov and Nedjet Mollov, Minister without Portfolio, left the Cabinet.
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