Bulgarian caretaker PM’s new suggestion for foreign minister – himself

Bulgaria’s caretaker Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev said on April 20 that he had suggested to head of state President Roumen Radev that he himself take over the foreign affairs portfolio in the interim government.

This was the latest twist in the saga that began when, just a week after the caretaker government took office, Glavchev asked 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, and to remove Kiril Vatev as caretaker Agriculture Minister and replace him with Georgi Takhov.

Radev has decreed neither appointment and made known his objection to Mitov getting the foreign ministry portfolio. On April 19, Mitov said that he was withdrawing his nomination.

The same day, Dimitrov – somewhat stating the obvious – said that he remained caretaker Foreign Minister until Radev decreed that he was not.

Glavchev told reporters on April 20: “Yesterday I had talks with President Radev and I suggested to him that I take over the Foreign Ministry. If he issues a decree to take over the Foreign Ministry, I will bear political responsibility for it as well.

“In the current composition with Minister Dimitrov, President Radev assumes all political responsibility,” Glavchev said.

He said that he communicated with Dimitrov, but asked whether he trusted him said: “Trust is like the soul. Once it leaves, there is no return”.

“I have no intention of proposing a new candidate for caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs. Daniel Mitov was my candidate, no decree was issued. It’s not really a casting call for Foreign Ministers, and I can’t pull them out of a hat,” Glavchev said.

“I am fully responsible for the organisation of the (June 9 European Parliament and early National Assembly) elections – whether they will be held abroad or in Bulgaria, the important thing is to have fair elections,” he said.

Radev, speaking on April 20, described Glavchev’s proposal that he be both caretaker PM and caretaker Foreign Minister as “avant-garde”.

Glavchev had not yet understood what exactly he had set himself up for as Prime Minister, Radev said.

Radev said that he had told Glavchev to “research things a little more” when it came to the question of the foreign affairs portfolio.

“Although it took him almost a week, Daniel Mitov finally understood that if I had appointed him to this post, he would have fallen into a serious conflict of interest, because the Minister of Foreign Affairs is directly responsible for the organisation of elections abroad, and this cannot happen if the deputy chairman of a party participating in the elections is in government,” Radev said.

He said that he did not defend Stefan Dimitrov, but was against the vice-chairman of a party being responsible for elections abroad.

Radev said that he and Glavchev would have a “final conversation” on the morning of April 22.

“I have told him that the moment he gives me a person he trusts, I will immediately issue a decree. We have a number of excellent diplomats who are ready to immediately take over the ministry and get the job done much better than Mr. Mitov,” Radev said.

“If he insists, as I have said, I will accept all his proposals and do not interfere in his work. I intervened only when things got out of control,” he said.

“I hope he realizes what he is doing, it is very important what team of deputies will be formed in the Foreign Ministry. Let’s not have any illusions that Glavchev will be able to control the processes in the Foreign Ministry,” said Radev.

(Photo of Glavchev: government.bg)

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