Bulgarian President Roumen Radev signed the decree firing Interior Ministry chief secretary Georgi Kostov on February 22, the presidency said in a statement.
The presidential decree comes after Bulgaria’s caretaker government headed by Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov made the recommendation earlier on the same day that Kostov be fired.
Kostov, appointed by then-president Rossen Plevneliev on March 11 2015 at the recommendation of the second Boiko Borissov government, allegedly was involved in the exertion of political pressure to change five senior officials of the Interior Ministry.
Reports said that the five posts involved were those of Interior Ministry regional heads in Vidin, Pernik, Montana, Pleven and Lovech.
The announcement by the caretaker Cabinet, in office since January 27, came a few days after official denials – including by Kostov – that he would be leaving his post.
On February 16, Kostov said that he regarded media reports that he was to be axed “with a sense of humour” and added that he was working well with the political leadership. He had not tendered his resignation and did not intend doing so, Kostov said at the time.
By law, the Interior Ministry chief secretary is appointed by decree of the President, acting on the recommendation of the cabinet.
Kostov was deputy chief secretary of the Interior Ministry from the end of 2014. His appointment as chief secretary was made after Borissov requested and received the resignation of Svetozar Lazarov as the ministry’s chief secretary.
Lazarov was in office from June 2013, an appointee of the Bulgarian Socialist Party-Movement for Rights and Freedoms government of the time.