Bulgaria’s National Assembly voted on October 30 to approve the resignations of Liliyana Pavlova and Volen Siderov as MPs.
Pavlova submitted her resignation because the Cabinet nominated her to become a vice-president and member of the governing board of the European Investment Bank.
A former Regional Development Minister, Pavlova was Minister in charge of Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU from May 2017 until December 2018, when the portfolio was abolished after the end of the country’s EU presidency. Pavlova sat as an ordinary MP for Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party from January 1 2019.
Her term in office as an EIB vice-president will last for three years.
Pavlova’s seat will be taken by ophthalmologist Dr Ruslan Toshev, next on the GERB electoral list from Varna, a former manager of an ophthalmology hospital in the Black Sea city.
Siderov, leader of the ultra-nationalist Ataka party, submitted his resignation as an MP while standing as one of 20 candidate mayors of Sofia in the 2019 local elections. He was eliminated at the first round on October 27, getting 1.44 per cent of the vote (6396 votes), according to official Central Election Commission figures.
Ataka won two of the 61 seats on Sofia City Council and it is expected that Siderov will take up one of these. He will have a four-year term, to 2023. The term of the current National Assembly is scheduled to expire in 2021.
Reportedly, the National Assembly seat being vacated by Siderov will be taken by Maria Tsvetkova of the VMRO party, next on the Yambol electoral list, meaning that VMRO gains an MP to take its parliamentary group to 12, while the number of Ataka MPs drops to six and those for the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria remain at eight.
Tsvetkova is a former television reporter, former staffer of the information centre of the Ministry of Defence, and in 2015 and 2019, twice a failed candidate to be mayor of Sofia’s district of Mladost.