Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on May 13 that he was nominating Zornitsa Rusinova, deputy minister of labour and social policy, to take over the ministry to succeed departed ABC party member Ivailo Kalfin.
The announcement came a day after Tsvetan Tsvetanov, parliamentary leader of Borissov’s GERB party, said that the labour and social policy portfolio was “possibly” to be transferred to Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds. Parties in the governing coalition had agreed to this, Tsvetanov said.
But on May 13, it was reported that Donchev had refused to take over the portfolio left vacant when the socialist minority ABC party quit the government, saying that it was disgruntled with the lack of dialogue within the governing coalition. Just to complicate matters, later the same day Donchev said that he had not been offered the post.
Borissov said that he was appointed Rusinova because he wanted to have continuity in the ministry, saying that Kalfin had been “doing well”. Borissov denied that Rusinova was getting the job because Donchev had refused it.
The Prime Minister said that he understood from the few inquiries he had made that Rusinova would have the support of the “social partners” – the employers’ and trade union organisations.
According to Borissov, Rusinova, who has been responsible for European programmes, was well thought-of in Brussels.
Donchev was a very good minister, but practically had three portfolios, Borissov said. He described Donchev as one of the “soldiers” of GERB, who had no chance to disagree with something that the party of Borissov himself told him, the Prime Minister said.
Rusinova, who has a master’s degree in international economic relations from the University of National and World Economy and a master’s in Bulgarian and English from Sofia University, held senior posts in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and in the Ministry of State Administration before being appointed Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy when Borissov’s second Cabinet came into office in November 2014.