Bulgarian President Radev signs decree reshuffling caretaker Cabinet

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev has signed the decree making personnel changes to the Cabinet of caretaker Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev, less than two weeks after the caretaker government took office.

In a short statement on April 22, the president’s media office said that Radev issued the decree based on the requests made by Glavchev.

Glavchev will assume the foreign affairs portfolio in addition to his duties as caretaker Prime Minister, replacing Stefan Dimitrov, and Georgi Takhov will be the new agriculture minister in place of Kiril Vatev.

After Glavchev’s initial nominee to take over as Foreign Minister, GERB deputy leader Daniel Mitov, withdrew before the weekend, the caretaker Prime Minister nominated himself for the job.

Radev, who had described the proposal as “avant-garde” at the weekend, was due to meet with Glavchev on April 22 to discuss the proposed changes to the caretaker Cabinet’s line-up.

However, the meeting did not take place, with media reports saying that Glavchev decided against it. Instead, the caretaker PM made a formal request to be appointed caretaker Foreign Minister.

This is the latest in a number of changes executed by the caretaker government.

Its first act after taking office on April 9 was to request President Roumen Radev to decree the dismissal of Zhivko Kotsev from the post of Interior Ministry chief secretary. Radev signed the decree the following day.

On April 17, prosecutors charged Kotsev with alleged participation in an organised crime group along with former Customs Agency head Petya Bankova and business people Stefan and Martin Dimitrov.

Bankova, also earlier dismissed by the caretaker government, faces an additional charge of coercion. All the accused deny wrongdoing, and critics have claimed that the steps against them are politically-motivated.

National Revenue Agency deputy head Georgi Dimov was appointed to head the Customs Agency.

The first changes to deputy ministers came on April 10 when Glavchev appointed Metodi Metodiev, Stefan Belchev and Martin Danovski as deputy ministers of finance.

On April 10, caretaker Regional Development and Public Works Minister Violeta Koritarova fired Yassen Yordanov as head of the Road Infrastructure Agency after an internal audit found allegedly illegal actions.

April 11 saw the caretaker government dismiss Petar Petrov as deputy head of the State Agency for National Security. Petrov had been appointed to the post in July 2023 in the first month in office of the Nikolai Denkov government.

On April 12, Spaska Kincheva was appointed deputy minister of justice, while Emil Dechev and Yuliya Kovacheva were dismissed from their deputy ministerial posts at the ministry.

The same day, Stoyan Temelakiev and Tony Todorov were appointed to replace Kiril Tsenkin and Ivelina Dundakova as deputy interior ministers.

Also on April 12, Tihomir Stoychev and Elena Shekerletova were dismissed as deputy ministers of foreign affairs. Maria Angelieva and Colonel Nevyana Miteva, a former vice presidential candidate on the GERB ticket that was headed by Atanas Gerdzhikov in Bulgaria’s 2021 presidential elections, were appointed to replace them.

April 12 also saw Koritarova fire Delyana Panayotova as acting head of the National Construction Control Directorate, replacing her with Lilyana Petrova. Panayotova became acting head of the directorate in August 2022, replacing Petrova, who had held the post from December 31 2021.

On April 16, Glavchev dismissed Vladya Borissova as head of the Patent Office. Borissova had held the post since June 2021, when she was appointed by the Stefan Yanev caretaker government. Olya Dimitrova was named as her replacement.

The same day, David Sukalinski was appointed deputy minister of economy and industry and Ivan Kapitanov as deputy minister of agriculture and food. Alexander Yotsev and Georgi Toshev, respective holders of those posts, were dismissed.

On April 17, it was announced that Denitsa Zlateva had resigned as chief executive of Bulgargaz. The Bulgarian Energy Holding appointed Vesselin Sinabov in her place. In 2017, Zlateva was caretaker deputy prime minister in the Ognyan Gerdzhikov interim administration and is a former Bulgarian Socialist Party MP. She was appointed Bulgargaz chief executive in August 2022.

Dimitar Spassov and Tatyana Petrova-Boyadzhieva were dismissed from Bulgargaz’s board, and Mihail Milkov, Byanka Racheva and Marin Filipovski appointed to it.

On April 19, the caretaker government appointed Maria Neikova as district governor of Bourgas, dismissing Plamen Yanev from the post. Neikov has held the post twice before, from May 2021 to January 2022 and from August 2022 to July 2023, both times as the appointee of caretaker governments. Yanev was appointed by the Denkov government in July 2023.

Also on April 19, Martin Gikov was dismissed as deputy minister of innovation and growth, Nikolai Sidzhimov as deputy minister of environment and water, Nikolai Naydenov and Ginka Mashova as deputy ministers of labour and social policy, Viktor Stoyanov as deputy culture minister and Marieta Georgieva as deputy minister of education and science.

That day, six deputy ministers were appointed: Boiko Penkov and Dobromira Kareva as deputy ministers of health, Ilko Ganev deputy minister of culture, Pavlin Petrov deputy minister of tourism, Viktor Atanasov deputy minister of environment and water and Georgi Samandov as deputy minister of energy.

And on April 22, Finance Minister Lyudmila Petkova appointed Georgi Yordanov as the director of the Public Financial Inspection Agency. Yordanov, who was chief of staff to former GERB Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov between 2014 and 2020, replaced Ilka Dimova, who had been in office since February.

(Radev handing Glavchev the mandate to propose a government on March 30. Photo: president.bg)

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