Tsvetan Tsvetanov has resigned from all leadership posts in Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party.
The resignation has been accepted by Borissov, after a conversation between Tsvetanov and Borissov.
The announcement, made by Tsvetanov on Facebook, came on May 30, four days after Bulgaria voted in European Parliament elections, in which GERB won the largest share of votes (31.07 per cent), decisively beating the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (24.26 per cent).
Tsvetanov was one of GERB’s deputy leaders and in the European Parliament elections, was election headquarters chief, as he had been in previous elections.
At the time of GERB’s founding, Tsvetanov was nominally its leader, because at the time Borissov was mayor of Sofia and Bulgarian law forbids mayors being party leaders. Tsvetanov initially was sole deputy leader, but a later shake-up of the party’s structure made him one of three.
Tsvetanov said on Facebook that he had resigned now because it had been important to remain calm and silent during the campaign.
“I would like to thank you cordially for these 13 years of work in GERB. We have built a functioning and working political model that has always been driven only by the public interests of every settlement, every municipality, region, Bulgaria and our fellow citizens.
“We have proven it with our strong list of European Parliament candidates, with whose victory we have contributed to a strong and united Europe.
“After a conversation with the GERB leader Boiko Borissov, I thought it was more appropriate to resign. I have been thinking about this decision for quite some time, but I do it today because GERB is for me all members and sympathizers.
“It was important for me to maintain calm and silence during the campaign because the election victory was our total moral satisfaction with our joint work over the years,” Tsvetanov said.
In March, Bulgaria’s anti-corruption commission announced that it was investigating Tsvetanov, along with other ruling majority politicians, in connection with alleged cut-price property acquisition deals. Tsvetanov, who denies wrongdoing, subsequently resigned as parliamentary leader of GERB and as an MP.
The campaign ahead of Bulgaria’s May 26 2019 European Parliament elections saw GERB initially in a tight race with the BSP as Borissov’s party was damaged by the real estate acquisitions controversy. Borissov’s numerous high-profile public appearances in the course of the campaign are seen as having been the major contributor to GERB’s victory, while particularly the latter half of the campaign saw Tsvetanov maintaining a largely low profile.