Bulgaria: Two newly-appointed caretaker government ministers face ouster

In less than 24 hours, and just a week after taking office as part of the Dimitar Glavchev caretaker cabinet, two members of Bulgaria’s interim government face ousting.

On the night of April 15, the government information service said that Glavchev had asked head of state President Roumen Radev to decree the removal of Stefan Dimitrov as caretaker Foreign Minister and replace him with Daniel Mitov, an MP for Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF and formerly holder of the foreign affairs portfolio in the second Borissov administration.

Glavchev took the step a few hours after Borissov called for Dimitrov’s removal, apparently on the grounds that Dimitrov would not adhere to the previous government policy of supporting Ukraine.

As amended in 2023, Bulgaria’s constitution provides for the caretaker Prime Minister-designate to propose a caretaker government and the president to decree it. There is a lack of clarity on what happens in the event of a proposed change to the line-up.

By the afternoon of April 16, there had been no statement from Radev’s office on a decree changing the foreign minister.

However, there was a second announcement, this time that Glavchev had asked Radev to remove Kiril Vatev as caretaker Agriculture Minister and replace him with Georgi Takhov.

Takhov became executive director of the State Fund Agriculture in August 2022.

Vatev was one of four ministers from the Nikolai Denkov government to have retained their posts in the Glavchev caretaker government.

His stay in the Ministry of Agriculture until now has been associated with a number of legislative initiatives, which the sector organisations have been awaiting a long time, but also with a number of protests and demands for him to be fired.

Vatev had said that he wanted to stay in the agriculture portfolio to finish the work he started. However, just eight days after the Glavchev government was decree and sworn in, he resigned.

In his request to Radev, Glavchev cites as reasons for the change Vatev’s failure to cope with official duties, as a result of which tension and dissatisfaction in the agrarian sector continue, without reaching the necessary legislative and administrative decisions with the necessary financial security, such as Ukrainian aid for farmers for 2024 and the still unlaunched campaign on direct payments, which creates serious difficulties in the sector.

(Photo of Vatev and Dimitrov: government.bg)

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