Bulgaria’s Parliament to vote on Cabinet changes on February 20

Bulgaria’s unicameral Parliament, the National Assembly, was scheduled to vote on February 20 2013 on changes to the Cabinet in the wake of the axing of Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Dyankov. The largest opposition party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, was not expected to be present after it announced a boycott of Parliament’s plenary and committee meetings until February 22.

It was unclear whether the Movement for Rights and Freedoms would attend the vote. Like the socialists and some other minority parties, the MRF is demanding that the government step down amid the current nationwide protests to open the way for ahead-of-term elections.

In the February 20 vote, EU funds minister Tomislav Donchev was to have the finance portfolio added while Public Works and Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova was to become Deputy Prime Minister.

On February 19, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that he had asked for the resignation of Dyankov, finance minister since the current centre-right government came to power in July 2009, because Dyankov had difficulties in his communications with Cabinet colleagues, had no support in the Cabinet or the ruling GERB party, was responsible for the late payment of EU subsidies to farmers and had not dealt adequately with the e-government project.

From left, Lilyana Pavlova, Boiko Borissov, Tomislav Donchev and Economy, Energy and Tourism Minister Delyan Dobrev

Dyankov was fired while he was on a visit to the United States. On the eve of the vote in Parliament on the changes to the Cabinet, Dyankov returned to Bulgaria, declining to speak to journalists.

• Donchev was appointed to the Cabinet in March 2010 after having been mayor of the town of Gabrovo since November 2007.

Tomislav Donchev

He has a master’s degree in philosophy from Sofia University (1991) and an MBA from Veliko Turnovo university (2006), attended a political science course in Poland (1998), completed a course in supporting high-tech SME and R and D start-ups at the Negev Institute in Israel (2001) and completed a course in business mentoring at an academy in Oxford, UK (2005).

Among other posts, from 1997 to 1999, he taught social psychology and philosophy of law at a school in Veliko Turnovo, from 2001 to 2004 was chief executive of a high-tech business incubator in Gabrovo and from 2004 to 2007 was a programme director at the Open Society Institute in Sofia.

Pavlova was promoted to Regional Development and Public Works Minister in 2012 after the incumbent, Rossen Plevneliev, resigned to stand for President.

Lilyana Pavlova

She has a doctorate in economics, a master’s in public administration and European integration and a bachelor’s degree in international economic relations.

Before her August 2009 appointment as Deputy Minister of Public Works, she was from 2002 to 2009 head of a directorate at the Finance Ministry in charge of financial management, control and certification of EU funds. From 1999 to 2002, she was an official at the ISPA co-ordination unit at the Regional Development and Public Works Ministry.

(Main photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)




The Sofia Globe staff

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