Bulgaria’s socialists ask President to halt appointment of ambassadors

The Bulgarian Socialist Party, which ran second in the May parliamentary elections but which by default will be forming the new government, has called on President Rossen Plevneliev to stop all ambassadorial appointments abroad pending the new government taking office.

Article 98 of the Bulgarian constitution provides for the President, as head of state, to appoint and remove ambassadors “on a motion by the Council of Ministers”.

Pending the formation of a new government after the May 12 elections, a caretaker government headed by diplomat Marin Raykov, as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, has since March 13 had charge of the country.

On May 23, as the process unfolded of President Plevneliev holding consultations with political parties and ultimately handing a mandate to the socialists to form a government, the BSP said that it was “politically incorrect” to make diplomatic appointments a few days before the establishment of a new government.

“The prestige and dignity of the institutions must be kept. Therefore we rely on there being built constructive interaction between the President and the government in matters of foreign policy of the Republic of Bulgaria and expect the tone to be set by the Bulgarian President as an institution created to embody and to work for unity of the Bulgarian nation,” the BSP said.

According to a report by daily Sega, among the proposed appointments is that of Raykov, who until he became head of government was Bulgaria’s ambassador in Paris, to another European capital.

Responding to the BSP call, Raykov told a news conference at the Cabinet office that none of the people on the list proposed for ambassadorial appointments was a political appointment.

“None of the people in the list of ambassadors is a political appointment,” Raykov said. “The list is comprised only of people, who have occupied the respective positions in the past and during the mandate of other Bulgarian government,” he said.

Raykov said that he had proposed eight people for ambassadors, one of whom will be promoted to a higher rank.

“All of the people in question are professionals, there is not a single political appointment,” he said.

At a news conference with BSP leader Sergei Stanishev and the socialist’s candidate for prime minister, Plamen Oresharski, President Plevneliev said that once Raykov’s duties as Prime Minister were over, it would be normal for him to return to his professional career as a diplomat.

(Main photo: Plevneliev, left, and Raykov)



The Sofia Globe staff

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