Bulgarian President Radev names Stefan Yanev caretaker PM

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev has signed a decree dissolving the 45th National Assembly on May 12 and setting the date for early parliamentary elections on July 11.

With a separate decree, Radev appointed Stefan Yanev as caretaker Prime Minister effective May 12, the presidency said in a media statement on May 11.

The statement listed the ministers appointed to the caretaker Cabinet and said that they would be formally presented at a ceremony at the presidency on May 12. The CVs of the caretaker Cabinet members are as follows:

Prime Minister – Stefan Yanev (61)
A graduate of Bulgaria’s G.S. Rakovski military academy, he has held several department head positions in the Defence Ministry and has served as military attaché at Bulgaria’s embassy in Washington, DC. Prior to this appointment, he was Radev’s defence advisor, having served as deputy PM and defence minister in the Ognyan Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet appointed by Radev in 2017.

Deputy PM for Social and Economic Policies, Labour Minister – Gulub Donev (54)
Radev’s adviser for social policies and healthcare prior to his appointment, Donev also held the labour portfolio in the Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet. He also served as interim chief secretary of the Labour and Social Policy Ministry in 2005-2006 and was Deputy Labour and Social Policy Minister in 2014-2016.

Deputy PM for Internal Order and Security, Interior Minister – Boiko Rashkov (66)
Head of the National Investigation Service in 1995-2001, until his election as MP in the 39th National Assembly. Rashkov also served as deputy Justice Minister in 2008-2009, as a member of the Supreme Judicial Council and as head of the national bureau overseeing the use of wire-tapping.

Deputy PM for EU Funds Management – Atanas Pekanov
An economist with the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) since 2017, Pekanov holds an MSc degree from University College London and is pursuing a PhD from Vienna University of Economics and Business. He has been a member of Radev’s strategy documents council since it was created in 2019.

Finance Minister – Assen Vassilev (43)
Has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College, as well as a JD/MBA joint degree in law and business administration from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. Vassilev was Economy Minister in the caretaker cabinet of Marin Raykov, appointed by then-president Rossen Plevneliev in 2013.

Defence Minister – Georgi Panayotov (53)
A graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Panayotov has held several diplomatic postings since 1995, including as Bulgaria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, deputy chief of mission at the Bulgarian embassy in Washington, DC, as well as the head of the Nato section in the Foreign Ministry’s security policy department.

Foreign Minister – Svetlan Stoev (61)
A career diplomat since 1085, Stoev was appointed Bulgaria’s ambassador to Denmark in 2019, having previously served as ambassador to Sweden in 2012-2016 and head of the protocol department of the Foreign Ministry in 2016-2018. His previous diplomatic postings include Nigeria and Germany.

Justice Minister – Yanaki Stoilov (62)
Lecturer in law at Kliment Ohridski Sofia University and Paisii Hilendarski Plovdiv University, Stoilov was elected to Parliament eight times, including to the Grand National Assembly in 1990, which drafted the current Bulgarian constitution. Stoilov also served as Deputy Speaker of the 43rd National Assembly, in 2014-2017.

Health Minister – Stoicho Katsarov (56)
Twice elected to Bulgarian Parliament, in 1997 and 2001, Katsarov has a medical degree from Sofia Medical University. He served as deputy health minister in 1999-2001, as part of the Ivan Kostov Cabinet. He is one of the founders and head of an NGO focused on protecting individual and collective healthcare rights.

Education Minister – Nikolai Denkov (58)
Has a PhD in chemistry and served as dean of the chemical engineering faculty of Kliment Ohridski Sofia University in 2008-2015. He was deputy education minister in 2014-2016 and served as education minister in the Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet.

Agriculture and Foods Minister – Hristo Bozoukov (61)
Former head of the Agricultural Academy in Sofia and the former director of Bulgaria’s tobacco institute, Bozoukov held the agriculture portfolio in the Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet. He has also been a member of Radev’s council on economic and social development since 2018.

Transport, Information Technologies and Communications Minister – Georgi Todorov
Has a degree in law and served as deputy transport minister in three governments. In the past, Todorov has held positions as chairperson of the board at the state Ports Infrastructure company, state IT company Informatsionno Obslouzhvane, Bulgarian Posts and also served on the board of the Port of Bourgas and Bulgaria Air.

Environment and Waters Minister – Assen Lichev (68)
Has a master’s degree in hydrogeology and has served in various positions at the Environment Ministry over the past 25 years, including 12 years as head of the ministry’s water management directorate.

Energy Minister – Andrei Zhivkov (50)
Graduate of Technical University in Sofia, Zhivkov worked at the Sofia electricity distribution company in 1996-2012, before and after its privatisation to Czech energy conglomerate CEZ. He served on the board of power grid operator ESO in 2014-2015 and 2017-2018.

Tourism Minister – Stela Baltova (60)
Former economic affairs adviser in the diplomatic service, she later served as deputy chairperson of the State Agency for Tourism in 2007-2009. Baltova held the tourism portfolio in the Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet.

Economy Minister – Kiril Petkov
Has degrees from the University of British Columbia in Canada and Harvard Business School. Owner of biotech company ProViotic.

Regional Development Minister – Violeta Komitova
Komitova has a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia, where she is currently a lecturer.

Culture Minister – Velislav Minekov (62)
Sculptor and lecturer at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Minekov is best known as one of the “Poison Trio” organisers of anti-government protests against the government of Boiko Borissov in the summer of 2020.

Youth and Sports Minister – Andrei Kouzmanov
Head of Bulgaria’s modern pentathlon federation, Kouzmanov won several national titles in the discipline and later qualified as a coach. Kouzmanov also has private sector managerial experience.

(Archive photo of Radev, left, and Yanev, right: president.bg)

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