Bulgarian caretaker PM’s foreign policy aide quits as he takes foreign affairs portfolio

In another twist in the extraordinary saga of Bulgaria’s recently-appointed and highly controversial interim government, caretaker Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev’s foreign policy adviser resigned as he took up a dual role as caretaker Foreign Minister.

Meglena Plugchieva, a three-time ambassador of Bulgaria and a former deputy PM in charge of EU funds, had argued to Glavchev that a career diplomat should become the caretaker Foreign Minister, rather than him taking over the portfolio.

While Plugchieva’s resignation was reported on April 23, there was no immediate official statement on the reason, while Bulgarian media reported that she was not available for comment.

The Glavchev interim administration took office on April 9, and just a week later, he asked President Roumen Radev to decree the dismissal of Stefan Dimitrov as caretaker Foreign Minister.

Glavchev named Daniel Mitov, a deputy leader of Boiko Borissov’s GERB party, as his nominee to take over the foreign affairs portfolio.

The proposal was widely criticised, including by Radev, given the foreign minister’s key role in organising elections abroad. Bulgaria is to hold early parliamentary elections and regular European Parliament elections simultaneously on June 9.

After several days of adverse political reaction to his nomination, Mitov announced his withdrawal.

Glavchev, after Mitov’s withdrawal, said that he had “no Plan B” and then nominated himself for the role, in a step that Radev publicly described as “avante-garde”.

Radev called on Glavchev to rethink his nomination of himself, but after Glavchev persisted, Radev decreed the appointment.

Before her resignation as the PM’s foreign policy adviser, Plugchieva said in a weekend interview with Bulgarian National Television that she would not be a suitable choice for caretaker Foreign Minister, because she had come from the quota for political appointments as diplomats, and could not be regarded as a career diplomat.

(Photo of Plugchieva via BNT)

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