Bulgarian Parliament approves changes to Borissov’s Cabinet

Bulgaria’s National Assembly voted on July 24 to approve changes to Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s Cabinet in the largest government reshuffle since Borissov took office in May 2017.

Kiril Ananiev succeeds Vladislav Goranov as Finance Minister, Hristo Terziyski succeeds Mladen Marinov as Interior Minister, Luchezar Borissov succeeds Emil Karanikolov as Economy Minister, Kostadin Angelov succeeds Ananiev as Health Minister, while Deputy Prime Minister Mariana Nikolova takes over the Tourism portfolio from Nikolina Angelkova.

The motion passed with 116 in favour and 89 opposed. It was preceded by an hour-long debate, featuring mainly speakers from the opposition socialists, who repeatedly asked for the Prime Minister to attend the proceedings and demanded the resignation of the entire Cabinet.

The reshuffle came a week after Borissov had asked for the resignations of Goranov, Karanikolov and Marinov after meeting with regional co-ordinators of his party, Gerb, the senior partner in the government coalition, on July 15.

Borissov made that announcement against the backdrop of large-scale protests demanding the resignation of his government. Protesters responded by saying that a Cabinet reshuffle meant nothing.

On July 23, Borissov also announced Angelkova’s resignation.

The latest reshuffle takes the number of ministerial resignations from Borissov’s third cabinet to 14. Terziyski is the third appointment to the Interior portfolio after Valentin Radev and Marinov, while Angelov becomes the third Health Minister in the current government, after Nikolai Petrov and Ananiev.

Other changes over the years included Mariana Nikolova replacing Valeri Simeonov as Deputy PM, Danail Kirilov replacing Tsetska Tsacheva as Justice Minister, Rossen Zhelyazkov succeeding Ivailo Moskovski as Transport Minister, Dessislava Taneva succeeding Roumen Porozhanov as Agriculture Minister, Denitsa Tsacheva taking over as Labour and Social Policy Minister from Bisser Petkov, and Emil Dimitrov replacing Neno Dimov as Environment Minister. Lilyana Pavlova, who was minister for Bulgaria’s six-month EU presidency, left the Cabinet after the end of the presidency.

In a separate vote, Parliament voted to accept Goranov’s resignation as an MP.

(Photos of new ministers taking their oath of office on July 24 in the National Assembly: parliament.bg)

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