New head of State Agency for Bulgarians abroad appointed
The cabinet has appointed Boris Vangelov, a legal adviser for the VMRO Foundation and formerly a parliamentary candidate for the nationalist Patriotic Front – a party supporting the current centre-right coalition cabinet – as the new head of the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad.
The decision, announced by the cabinet on March 18, comes after a series of controversies involving the agency.
In 2014, the then-head Yordan Yanev was dismissed after Bulgarian-language media reports of alleged irregularities at the agency in not keeping to rules on requiring documentary proof before endorsing the issuing of citizenship to people on the basis of claims of ethnic Bulgarian descent.
The time in office of Yanev’s replacement, Iva Yordanova, was short-lived after public controversy about whether she was qualified for the post and media reports highlighting her relationship with Bozhidar Loukarski, leader of a party that is part of the Reformist Bloc, the minority partner in the coalition cabinet.
Announcing Vangelov’s appointment, the government media office said that he had a master’s degree in history and geography and in law. The media statement described him as having a “wealth of experience” in working with Bulgarian communities abroad.
Vangelov was chosen over two other short-listed candidates, the acting head of the agency, Dimitar Vladimirov and the former deputy head of the agency, Spas Tashev.
Reports said that VMRO leader and Patriotic Front co-leader Krassimir Karakachanov had confirmed that he had lobbied Prime Minister Boiko Borissov for the job to go to Vangelov “because he possessed all the necessary qualities”.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)