Bulgarian Interior Minister Vesselin Vuchkov submitted his resignation at a March 4 cabinet meeting after his proposal to change the ministry’s chief secretary and the head of the State Agency for National Security were rejected.
A statement by the government media service said that Prime Minister Boiko Borissov had accepted Vuchkov’s resignation.
Ahead of the meeting, Vuchkov repeatedly had said in public that he wanted the two incumbents in those posts replaced, but Borissov – also publicly – refused, saying that they were “working hard”.
Bulgaria’s centre-right coalition government, in power since early November 2014, recently got through Parliament amendments to the Interior Ministry Act making it possible to dismiss Interior Ministry chief secretary Svetozar Lazarov and SANS head Vladimir Pisanchev.
Both Lazarov and Pisanchev are holdovers from the time of the now-departed administration that was in power from May 2013 to early August 2014 on the basis of a mandate handed to the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
Borissov, speaking some days after the National Assembly approved the Interior Ministry Act amendments, said that he did not hold Lazarov and Pisanchev personally responsible for their conduct at the time of the former government, but chose to blame it on Plamen Oresharski, occupant of the prime minister’s chair in the 2013/14 administration.
Media reports said that the legal directorate at the cabinet office had, after studying a report by Vuchkov, said that making the changes would not be a good move at the moment.
Borissov reportedly told Vuchkov that it was not appropriate to change the two positions just at a time when FBI head James Comey was visiting Bulgaria.
At the time of the cabinet meeting, Borissov already had held a scheduled meeting with Comey, who also was scheduled to meet Vuchkov and Pisanchev.
(Photo of Vuchkov: mvr.bg)