Bulgaria’s Glavchev caretaker cabinet: meet the ministers (updated)

Caretaker Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev’s Cabinet took the oath of office on April 9, becoming Bulgaria’s fifth caretaker government in less than three years and the first appointed after constitutional amendments were approved by Parliament in 2023.

While previously the constitution provided that in the event of Parliament’s failure to elect a government, the head of state chose a caretaker government and dissolved the National Assembly ahead of elections, now the caretaker Prime Minister-designate chooses the interim government line-up and Parliament is not dissolved.

The new Cabinet mirrors the structure of the Nikolai Denkov government that preceded it in office, featuring one deputy prime minister, with four members of the Denkov administration retaining their portfolios in the initial line-up.

Less than two weeks in, the caretaker government saw its first reshuffle on April 22, when President Roumen Radev signed the decree replacing two of the Cabinet ministers at Glavchev’s request. The CVs of the Cabinet members are as follows:

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister – Dimitar Glavchev
Head of the National Audit Office since July 2023, he was elected to the National Assembly six times on the ticket of Boiko Borissov’s GERB party, serving as an MP and member of the parliamentary budget commmittee between 2009 and 2021. He was briefly Speaker of the 43rd National Assembly between April and November 2017. Holds master’s degrees in international economic relations and accounting audit from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Deputy PM and Finance Minister – Lyudmila Petkova
Head of the finance ministry’s tax policy directorate since 2010, she previously spent 15 years at the National Revenue Agency in various positions, rising up to directorate head. Served as deputy finance minister in the Plamen Oresharski administration (2013-14), the second caretaker Cabinet of Stefan Yanev (2021) and the two Gulub Donev caretaker cabinets (2022-23). Holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Interior Minister – Kalin Stoyanov
Retains the portfolio he held in the Denkov Cabinet. Joined the Interior Ministry as economic police investigator in the Bourgas district in 2003, rising through the ranks and was appointed head of the chief directorate for fighting organised crime in May 2021. Holds a bachelor’s degree from the Interior Ministry Academy in Sofia and a master’s degree in law from Bourgas Free University.

Defence Minister – Atanas Zapryanov
Deputy defence minister in the Denkov Cabinet, having served in the same position in 2016/2021 as part of the second and third Boiko Borissov administrations, as well as the Ognyan Gerdzhikov caretaker government. Holds the rank of lieutenant-general (reserve) and has previously served as head of Bulgaria’s G.S. Rakovski Military Academy, deputy head of the Bulgarian General Staff, as well as Bulgaria’s representative to the EU and Nato military committees in 2006-10.

Justice Minister – Maria Pavlova
Served as justice minister in the Ognyan Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet (2017), as well as deputy justice minister in the four caretaker administrations of Stefan Yanev and Gulub Donev. Deputy prosecutor-general since June 2023, she was previously a department head in the National Investigative Service, which she joined as an investigative magistrate in 1998. Holds a master’s degree in law from Paisii Hilendarski Plovdiv University.

Labour and Social Policy Minister – Ivailo Ivanov
Head of Bulgaria’s National Social Security Institute since 2017, he was deputy labour minister prior to that, serving in the second and third Borissov administrations, as well as the Gerdzhikov caretaker cabinet. Before that, he was with the Agency for Social Assistance, which he joined in 2003, rising to be appointed its head. Holds master’s degrees in finance from Dimitar Tsenov Business Academy in Svishtov and law from Neofit Rilski Southwestern University in Blagoevgrad.

Energy Minister – Vladimir Malinov
Executive director of Bulgaria’s state-owned gas grid operator Bulgartransgaz since 2018, having previously served as the company’s general counsel. Holds board positions in a number of Bulgarian and international industry associations. Previously served as an expert in the defence ministry (2003-10), rising to department head in the armaments policy directorate. Holds a master’s degree in law from St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University.

Regional Development Minister – Violeta Koritarova-Kasabova
Head of Bulgaria’s Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre Agency in 2018-23, where she held other senior positions between 2009-2018. She also worked on cadastre projects at the Agriculture Ministry and investment policy planning at the Education Ministry at different points in her career. Holds a degree in geodesy and cartography.

Economy and Industry Minister – Petko Nikolov
Has held a number of senior positions, most notably as head of the Commission of Protection of Competition (2003-16), but also the Privatisation Agency (2001-03), the state company for industrial zones, and the Patent Office. Holds a PhD in economics from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Health Minister – Galya Kondeva-Mankova
Executive director of the specialist haematology hospital in Sofia since 2022, where she previously served two terms as the head of the board of directors. She was a directorate head at the National Health Insurance Fund in 2017-18. Holds master’s degrees in medicine from the Medical University in Sofia and business administration from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

Environment and Waters Minister – Petar Dimitrov
Served as deputy environment and waters minister in the Denkov Cabinet, as well as the four caretaker administrations of Stefan Yanev and Gulub Donev. Has extensive experience in waters and flood risk management. Holds a degree in hydro-engineering construction.

Agriculture Minister – Georgi Takhov
Previously head of the State Fund Agriculture, the government agency that handles the bulk of farming subsidies in Bulgaria, since 2022. Prior to that, he worked for the National Revenue Agency, rising to head of the Plovdiv regional directorate before leaving the agency in 2015. Holds a PhD in economics, as well as masters degrees in accounting, law, and public order management.

Transport and Communications Minister – Georgi Gvozdeikov
Retains the portfolio he held in the Denkov Cabinet. Aviation engineer and graduate of Bulgaria’s Air Force Academy Georgi Benkovski in Dolna Mitropolia. An active participant in establishing Bulgaria’s first air ambulance service, he was also deputy head of the transport committee in the 47th National Assembly in 2021-2022.

E-government Minister – Valentin Mundrov
Served as deputy e-government minister in the Denkov Cabinet, and prior to that was head of the software integration directorate at state-owned IT company Informatsionno Obsluzhvane in 2013-22. Holds master’s degrees in industrial engineering from the Technical University in Sofia and e-government from the St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University.

Tourism Minister – Evtim Miloshev
Prolific producer of reality TV game and entertainment shows, as well as TV series. He is a co-founder of the Bulgarian association of film and TV producers in 2009, serving on its board of directors since inception, including as chairperson in 2012-18. Holds a master’s degree in geodesy from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia.

Growth and Innovation Minister – Rossen Karadimov
Head of the supervisory board of Bulgarian Development Bank since 2022. Former Socialist MP and political aide to Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev (2005-09), Karadimov was also the last first secretary of Bulgaria’s communist youth organisation in 1989-90. Holds a PhD and teaches law at the St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University.

Education Minister – Galin Tsokov
Retains the portfolio he held in the Denkov Cabinet. Professor of education management and deputy dean of pedagogy faculty at Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski. Holds a PhD and master’s degree in pedagogy from Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski.

Culture Minister – Naiden Todorov
Served as culture minister in the second Donev caretaker cabinet (2023). He has worked as conductor of several Bulgarian opera houses and was appointed head of the Sofia Philharmonic in 2017. He is a graduate of the Music and Performing Arts University Vienna, where he studied orchestra, choir and opera conducting.

Sports Minister – Georgi Glushkov
Head of Bulgaria’s basketball federation since 2011, he is best known as the first player from the communist bloc to play in the National Basketball Association, for the Phoenix Suns in 1985-86. He has also played in the Italian and Spanish leagues. Holds a master’s degree in accounting from Varna Economic University.

The Cabinet ministers removed in the April 22 reshuffle were:

Foreign Minister – Stefan Dimitrov
Previously Bulgaria’s ambassador to Montenegro since January 2023, he has held a number of positions at the foreign ministry, including as head of Bulgaria’s consulate in Frankfurt in 2015-19 and head of the diplomatic bureau in Bonn in 2009-12. Prior to that, he was head of the Bulgarian subsidiary of German publishing house Klett-Cotta. Holds a master’s degree in political science from the Universität Potsdam.

Agriculture Minister – Kiril Vatev
Retains the portfolio he held in the Denkov Cabinet. Owner of one of Bulgaria’s largest meat-processing companies, he has three decades of experience in the private sector, serving several terms as the head of the meat-processing industry group. A graduate in wrestling from the National Sports Academy in Sofia.

(Top photo: Dimitar Glavchev’s Cabinet swears its oath of office in the National Assembly on April 9, via parliament.bg. Minister photos: government.bg)

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