Bulgaria Most Popular Minister Quits to Run for President

Politics » PRESIDENTAL & LOCAL ELECTIONS 2011 | September 7, 2011, Wednesday // 07:17
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Most Popular Minister Quits to Run for President Rosen Plevneliev is known as intelligent and soft-spoken, one of the most successful entrepreneurs and ministers in Bulgaria, who can turn stress into success. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's regional development minister is expected to resign from his cabinet post on Wednesday, three days after the ruling party nominated him to run for president in the October 23 presidential vote.

Rosen Plevneliev, 47, will quit office after a two-year stint as minister, during which he put in lots of efforts to renew Bulgaria's crumbling infrastructure and managed to become the most popular member of the center-right cabinet.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is expected to announce Plevneliev's successor on Wednesday.

Deputy Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova has been tipped to be the favorite for taking over the cabinet job, very dear to Borisov's heart as it is in charge of building highways, on which he has pinned lots of hopes to boost lagging support for the government among voters.

Over the past few days EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev has also emerged as a possible successor.

Minister Donchev was appointed in the middle of last year amid great expectations to control the proper use of European Union subsidies, prevent fraud and clean up Bulgaria's record with Brussels.

Government sources say that final choice was really between these two. The name will be publicly announced on Wednesday at the regular meeting of the cabinet.

Sources say Pavlova has high chances to be appointed as minister since Borisov considers continuity in the regional ministry team to be very important and insists that the pace of work there does not slacken. Pavlova has so far been in charge of the operational programs in the department, which are among those with the highest EU funds absorption rates.

Following months of speculations Bulgaria's ruling center-right party GERB officially nominated on September 4 Minister of Regional Development Rosen Plevneliev as its candidate in the October 23 presidential elections.

Minister Plevneliev was reputed to be among his party's most likely candidates; speculations were strengthened after Friday he was spotted filming an election video.

In the presidential race, he will be supported by current Bulgarian Minister of Justice Margarita Popova as a running mate. She will not resign however but just take a leave for the pre-election campaign.

The candidacies, unusually late for the Bulgarian political tradition, came at a GERB press conference Sunday afternoon amid great interest on the part of media.

Borisov stated that in nominating Plevneliev, GERB has looked for a candidate with a long-term strategic vision and priorities for the development of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria must shape its future with a clear resolve and hard work, stated Minister of Regional Development Rosen Plevneliev at his nomination for presidential candidate by the GERB ruling party.

"I firmly believe that progress and success can happen only when we know where we're going - when we achieve clear priorities and work hard along the way," stated Plevneliev at his nomination.

He added that his professional life up to now is a manifestation of this belief, describing himself as a "man of action."

Minister Plevneliev spoke out in support of a new type of politics that stays clear of politicization and is rather directed at achieving specific and tangible results in people's lives.

Opinion polls conducted over the summer show that the GERB candidate - irrespective of who he is - has by far the largest chances to win the October 23 presidential elections.

MORE about Rosen Plevneliev READ HERE

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Tags: Pavlova, Lilyana, Prime, Deputy, vote, justice, presidential, elections, Margarita, Popova, Rosen, Plevneliev, GERB, Boyko, Borisov, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Bulgaria, regional, development, minister, Tomislav, Donchev

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