Roumen Radev, taking office as Bulgaria’s President on January 22, said that he would appoint “experts” to the caretaker cabinet that will run the country pending early parliamentary elections.
Speaking in an interview broadcast on Bulgarian National Television a few hours before his inauguration as head of state, Radev – whose ticket was backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party in the November 2016 elections – said that in no way was the BSP affecting his choices of caretaker cabinet ministers.
“But that in no way means that I am barred from taking people from the left,” Radev said.
Bulgaria is to hold early parliamentary elections in spring 2017 because Boiko Borissov resigned as Prime Minister when his GERB party was defeated in the presidential elections, and attempts at forming a new elected cabinet on the basis of the current Parliament failed.
Radev said that he wanted the caretaker government to be an effective one that would lead Bulgaria into these few really difficult months until the next legitimately elected government.
“So I will rely on experts,” he said.
He said that he had no ambition to interfere in the work of any government, but the President’s powers included the right to ask questions, and the right to insist that the policy of the government was in the interest of Bulgarian citizens.
Radev said that he would not express doubts that Bulgaria’s 2018 presidency of the European Union would go ahead, but on the contrary, was convinced that Bulgaria would be a worthy EU presidency.
Nor would he give advice to other heads of state, he said.
These comments amount to criticism of his predecessor, President Rossen Plevneliev, who has publicly cautioned against sowing divisions that could put Bulgaria’s presidency of the EU at risk, and who was among European leaders who sent a letter to Donald Trump cautioning him on relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.