Tsvetlin Yovchev resigned as chief of staff in Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev’s office on April 9 2013, saying that he had “personal projects” that he could not combine with his duties at the head of state’s office.
Yovchev was quoted by Bulgarian-language media as saying that he currently was on leave and after it expired, he would no longer be a member of the Presidency’s administration.
He declined to say what his “personal projects” involved but said that they were not connected with politics.
Yovchev was appointed to the post soon after Plevneliev became President in January 2012 and is the first senior staff member to leave the current presidential administration.
A 48-year-old graduate of the Varna naval academy in engineering and in economics from Sofia University, Yovchev held senior posts in the National Security Service from 1993, later joining the State Agency for National Security when it was established under Bulgaria’s 2005-2009 socialist-led government.
He left the agency in 2008 to run a security industry business, but from August 2009 to February 2011, returned to the agency as its head, resigning after then-prime minister Boiko Borissov publicly criticised the agency’s performance. Accepting his resignation at the time, Borissov described Yovchev as “a good expert but not a good boss”. Yovchev’s resignation at the time was publicly linked to leaks of conversations that had been the subject of electronic eavesdropping by the agency. One of these conversations, the authenticity of which was never confirmed, purportedly involved Borissov asking the head of the customs agency to call off an investigation into the Ledenika brewery, at the time owned by the now-deceased Mihail “Misho The Beer” Mihov.
Soon after, Yovchev was appointed as national security adviser to Borissov, before his January 2012 appointment as Plevneliev’s chief of staff.
(Main photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)