At its eighth sitting, Sofia city council elected Tsvetomir Petrov of the We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria-Spasi Sofia coalition as council chairperson, following a deal among council groups on the understanding that he will hold office only until the end of July.
Requiring at least 31 votes in the 61-seat city council, Petrov got 47 in the secret ballot held on February 8.
ITN candidate Plamen Danailov got four votes and Vuzrazhdane candidate Emil Dimitrov three. There were five invalid ballots.
Though the ballot was secret, reports said that the votes for Petrov came from his own group, which has 23 seats, GERB-UDF, which has 14, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which has nine, while the Vuzrazhdane group split in half, between supporting Petrov and Dimitrov.
In statements regarding the support for Petrov, spokespeople for the other groups emphasised that the election did not mean that there was a ruling majority in the city council.
The election of a council chairperson means that the council – elected on October 29 2023 – will be able to start work, voting on ordinances and the municipal budget.
After taking office, Petrov thanked everyone for their support.
“I am aware that I am not elected with political confidence, but that my election is a compromise,” said Petrov, who has a master’s degree in management and administration.
“The only compromise we don’t have to make is with the city. I dreamed of being a municipal councillor to work for my hometown, but fate gave me a much greater honour,” he said.
(Photo of Petrov: Sofia municipality)
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