Some notes on the backgrounds of the list of nominees to be Bulgaria’s next Cabinet.
Prime Minister: Plamen Oresharski. A graduate locally in finance and economics, deputy finance minister in the 1997/2001 Kostov cabinet, finance minister in the socialist coalition from 2005 to 2009, the career of Oresharski (53) also includes stints at the Bulgarian Stock Exchange and the board of UniCredit Bulbank.
Economy and Energy Minister: Dragomir Stoinev. An economist, former chairperson of parliament’s labour and social policy committee, head of the socialist party’s social affairs and employment committee.
Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Minister and EU funds minister: Zinaida Zlatanova. Former head of the European Commission office in Bulgaria.
Interior: Tsvetlin Yovchev. Chief of staff for President Rossen Plevneliev from January 2012 to April 2013. 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.
Finance: Petar Chobanov. Has a masters’ in economics and a doctorate in finance from Bulgaria’s University of National and World Economy.
Foreign Affairs: Kristian Vigenin. Until now an MEP, Vigenin has a master’s degree in international relations and macroeconomics, University of National and World Economy, Sofia (1998). Program on International Leadership and Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2001). Head of the Foreign Affairs and International Relations Department of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) (since 2002, succeeding party leader Sergei Stanishev in that role.)
Defence: Angel Naidenov. A former mayor of Dimitrovgrad, MP in the 37th, 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st and 42nd National Assembly.
Education: Anelia Klisarova. Rector of the Medical University at Varna, formerly a BSP councillor in that Black Sea city, newly-elected an MP, she had been mentioned as a possible socialist candidate for mayor of Varna.
Health: Tanya Andreeva. Until now, head of Sheinovo gynaecological hospital in Sofia.
Transport and IT: Danail Papazov. Until now, head of the Port of Varna.
Regional Development and Public Works: Desislava Terzieva. Holder of a master of law degree, held various state administration positions, most recently – from 2001 – head of the strategic development and co-ordination directorate at the Cabinet office.
Investment Projects: Kalin Tiholov. A professor at the Sofia University of Architecture.
Labour and Social Policy: Hasan Ademov. A Varna medical school graduate in anaesthiology, and an MP for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms in the most recent five parliaments.
Agriculture: Dimitar Grekov. Rector of the Agricultural University, Plovdiv
Environment and Water Affairs: Iskra Mihailova. A member of Parliament for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, born in Sofia but elected from the Pazardzhik electoral district, her parliamentary directory entry gives her profession as bibliographer.
Culture: Petar Stoyanovich. Formerly with the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces, a former leader of the Gergovden movement, most recently with Meglena Kouneva’s Bulgaria for Citizens, which won no seats in Parliament.
Sport and Youth: Mariana Georgieva-Bencheva. A linguist who occupied a senior position in the Education Ministry at the time of the Saxe-Coburg government.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)