Politics of BulgariaMade by: Benedict “Viktor” Gombocz
Bulgaria’s political system: Introduction Bulgarian politics function in a structure of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, in which the PM is head of government and of a multi-party system. The government exercises executive power. Both the government and the National Assembly hold legislative power. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Since the fall of communism in 1989, following over forty years of a single-party system, Bulgaria has an unbalanced party system; it has been ruled by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (successor of the Bulgarian Communist Party), the first opposition – the Union of Democratic Forces and numerous personalistic parties, which appeared for a brief period of time in the past decade, of which govern Simeon II’s NDSV party and PM Boyko Borisov’s GERB party. In 2006, the United States Library of Congress Federal Research Division reported that Bulgaria has mostly good freedom of speech and human rights records; in 2011, Freedom House listed it as “free” and gave it scores of 2 for both political rights and civil liberties.
Bulgaria’s political system: Key office holdersOffice, holder and political party Since Prime Minister: Boyko Borisov (Citizens for 27 July 2009 European Development) Deputy Prime Minister (1): Tsvetan Tsvetanov 27 July 2009 (Citizens for European Development) Deputy Prime Minister (2): Simeon Djankov (Citizens for European Development) 27 July 2009 President: Rosen Plevneliev (formerly Citizens for European Development) 22 January 2012 Vice President: Margarita Popova (formerly 22 January 2012 (Citizens for European Development) Chairperson of the National Assembly: 14 July 2009 Tsetska Tsacheva (Citizens for European Development)
Bulgaria’s political system: Government Capital (and largest city): Sofia Official languages: Bulgarian Official script: Cyrillic Government: Unitary parliamentary republic President: Rosen Plevneliev Prime Minister: Boyko Borisov Legislature: National Assembly
Bulgaria’s political system: Executive branch The President of Bulgaria is elected directly to a five-year term; he may be re-elected once. The president serves as both head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. His or her responsibilities are to plan elections and referendums, represent Bulgaria overseas, conclude global treaties, and lead the Consultative Council for National Security. He or she can return legislation to the National Assembly for additional discussion (a sort of veto), but the legislation can be passed again with an absolute majority vote. The executive branch’s key organ is the Council of Ministers, typically made by the biggest party in Parliament, if there is one, or by the biggest party in Parliament alongside coalition partners. Headed by the PM, its duty is to conduct state policy, run the state budget, and uphold law and order. If the National Assembly successfully passes a vote of no confidence against the Council or the PM, the Council needs to resign. Bulgaria’s current government is ruled by the right of centre Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s political system: Legislative branch Bulgaria’s unicameral parliament, the National Assembly (Народно събрание, Narodno sabranie), is composed of 240 delegates, elected to four-year terms through popular vote. These votes are for party or coalition lists of nominees for all 28 governmental divisions. In order to gain representation in parliament, a party needs to meet a minimum 4% of the vote. Parliament is liable for ratification of laws, approval of the budget, planning of presidential elections, selection and discharge of the PM and other ministers, declaring war, deploying soldiers beyond Bulgaria’s borders, and approval of worldwide treaties and agreements.
Bulgaria’s political system: Judicial branch Bulgaria’s judicial system comprises local, locality and appeal courts, together with a Supreme Court of Cassation. Additionally, there is a Supreme Administrative Court and a structure of military courts. The Presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court and the Prosecutor General are elected through a qualified two-thirds majority from every associate of the Supreme Judicial Council and are nominated by the President of the Republic. The Supreme Judicial Council is responsible for both the self-administration and the Judiciary’s organisation. A qualified two-thirds majority of the Supreme Judicial Council’s membership elects the Presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court, together with the Prosecutor General, from among its associates; the President of the Republic nominates those elected. The Supreme Judicial Council has control over the self-administration and the Judiciary’s organization. The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria guides the review of the constitutionality of laws and statues presented to it, as well as the fulfillment of those laws with worldwide treaties that the Government has signed. Parliament elects the 12 affiliates of the Constitutional Court through a two-thirds majority; the members serve nine-year terms.
Bulgaria’s political system: List of political parties(parliamentary representation) Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (Граждани за европейско развитие на България, Grazhdani za evropeysko razvitie na Balgariya) Coalition for Bulgaria (Коалиция за България, Koalitsiya za Bulgaria) Bulgarian Socialist Party (Българска социалистическа партия, Balgarska Socialisticheska Partiya) Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats (партия Български социалдемократи, Partiya Balgarski Sotsialdemokrati) Agrarian Union “Aleksandar Stamboliyski” (Земеделски съюз, Zemedelski Sayuz "Aleksandar Stamboliyski“) Movement for Social Humanism (Dvizhenie za Sotsialen Humanizam) Movement for Rights and Freedoms (Движение за права и свободи, Dvizhenie za Prava i Svobodi) Attack (Ataka) Blue Coalition (Политическа партия Атака, Politicheska partiya Ataka, Sinyata Koalitsia) Union of Democratic Forces (Съюз на демократичните сили, Sayuz na demokratichnite sili) Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (Демократи за силна България, Demokrati za silna Bulgaria) United Agrarians (Обединени земеделци, Obedineni Zemedelski) Order, Law and Justice (Ред, законност и справедливост, Red, zakonnost i spravedlivost)
Bulgaria’s political system: List of political parties(representation outside parliament) Agrarian People’s Union Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union Bulgarian Left Bulgarian New Democracy Civil Union “Roma” Democratic Party George’s Day Movement Green Party of Bulgaria IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement Lider Movement for an Equal Public Model National Movement for Stability and Progress New Time New Zora Political Movement Social Democrats The Greens Union of Free Democrats
Bulgaria’s political system: List of political parties(dissolved parties) Bulgarian Communist Party Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union “Nikola Petkov” Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union – United Bulgarian Business Bloc Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party (Broad Socialists) Euroleft Fatherland Front United Democratic Forces
Administrative divisions The Republic of Bulgaria’s land is split into regions and municipalities. Bulgaria has a total of 28 regions; all are led by a provincial governor named by the government. There are additionally 263 municipalities.
Rosen Plevneliev Born on 14 May 1964 in Gotse Delchev. 4th and current President of Bulgaria since 22 January 2012. Served as Minister of Regional Development and Public Works from July 2009-September 2011 in PM Boyko Borisov’s cabinet. Was elected President in the run-off round of the 2011 Bulgarian presidential election in October. Is a descendant of Bulgarian immigrants from the south of Macedonia who resettled from the present-day village of Petrousa in the municipality of Petrotsaini in Drama regional unit in Greek Macedonia, in 1913. The family name Plevneliev refers to the village’s Bulgarian name Плевня (Plevnya, barn). Attended Blagoevgrad Mathematical and Natural Sciences High School, graduating in 1982. Graduated from the Higher Mechanical-Electrotechnical Institute in Sofia, in 1989; became a fellow Microprocessing Technology’s Institute, in Pravets, the same year. Is married to Yuliyana Plevnelieva; they have three sons: Filip, Asen and Pavel.
Boyko Borisov Born on 13 June 1959 in Bankya. PM of Bulgaria since 27 July 2009; became PM after his party, GERB, won the 2009 parliamentary election. Served as Mayor of Sofia from 10 November 2005 until his nomination as PM. Was born to Ministry of Internal Affairs official Metodi Borisov and elementary school instructor Veneta Borisova. Took various positions in the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a firefighter and subsequently as a professor at Sofia’s Police Academy, between 1982-1990. Participated, as an affiliate of the National Security Office, in the defense of crops and haylofts during the name-changing movement against the Turkish minority in the 1980s; left the Ministry in 1990. Established a private safety corporation, Ipon-1, in 1991; later protected personalities such as Todor Zhivkov and Simeon II. Has been actively involved in karate challenges since 1978 and served as the Bulgarian national team’s coach and referee of worldwide contests; currently holds a 7th dan black belt in karate and is the Bulgarian Karate Foundation’s chairman. Has additionally been a coach for the Bulgarian national karate squad for several years. Is not currently married, but lives with his domestic partner Tsvetelina Borislavova, chairwoman of the Economic and Investment Bank. Has one daughter, Veneta, from his previous marriage to the physician Selta Borisova; also has one sister, Krasimira Ivanova. His great-grandfather was killed following the 1944 Bulgarian coup détat.
Tsvetan Tsvetanov Born on 8 April 1965. in Sofia. Ex-Ministry of the Interior official. An-ex security representative Sofia mayor, he was the leader of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) until 2009. On 8 July 2009, after the 2009 parliamentary election won by his party, he was named future Minister of the Interior by de facto party leader Boyko Borisov. Graduated from the National Sports Academy and holds a post-graduate degree in law from the University of National and World Economy. His schooling also comprises action against international terrorism and avoidance of unlawful automobile trafficking courses at the Policía Nacional’s head office in Madrid, Spain, a managing course at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell, New Mexico and a basic course at ILEA in Budapest, Hungary, plus law enforcement courses at the American FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Was operative aid to Boyko Borisov, Chief Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, and administrator of the ministry’s management department from 2001-2005. Served as a Ministry of the Interior official from between 1987 and 2005, when he quit the ministry along with Borisov, accused of having ties to organized crime while in this post. Has been the chairman of GERB since 2006. Was declared as a runner for the 2011 presidential election. GERB maintains high approval ratings, apart from electoral delusion, but his image was ruined by skeptical explanations of how he bought six apartments in Sofia after he entered politics in 2006. Is married to Desislava; they have three daughters: Gergana, Vasilena and Sophia.
Simeon Djankov Born on 13 July 1970 in Lovech. Deputy PM and Minister of Finance of Bulgaria in PM Boyko Borisov’s government. Before his cabinet nomination, he was a Chief economist of the finance and private section vice- presidency of the World Bank. Made local trade agreements in North Africa, enterprise restructuring and privatization in transition economies, corporate power in East Asia and regulatory changes worldwide in his fourteen years at the World Bank. Was one of the World Development Report 2002’s key writers; also was an associate editor of the Journal of Comparative Economics between 2004 and 2009. Currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development EBRD. Is also an affiliate of the Knowledge and Advisory Council at the World Bank.
Margarita Popova Born on 15 May 1956 in Velingrad. Current VP of Bulgaria since 22 January 2012, having been elected on 30 October 2011 in the Bulgarian presidential election. Was previously Minister of Justice in PM Boyko Borisov’s cabinet, between 27 July 2009-29 November 2011. Graduated from the University of Sofia, with a degree in Bulgarian philology, in 1980 and subsequently with a degree in law from that university, in 1989. Was named prosecutor in Pirdop in 1990; was also a local prosecutor in Ruse in 1991, and administrative head and local prosecutor in the Sofia district between 1996-2006. Worked as a professor in the National Police Academy from 2001-2004 and National Institute of Justice from 2005-2009.
Tsetska Tsacheva Born on 24 May 1958 in the village of Dragana in Ugarchin Municipality in Lovech Province. Current chairwoman of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, making her the first woman to ever chair the National Assembly of Bulgaria since it was founded in 1878. Completed the Pleven High School of Mathematics in 1976 and graduated in law from Sofia University. Was a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party until the democratic transition in 1989, but left that party after the People’s Republic of Bulgaria fell. An affiliate of the Pleven Bar Association, she worked as a lawyer and was later a top legal consultant to the Pleven Municipality for seven and a half years until 2007, when she joined the Pleven Municipal Council as GERB party associate. Was GERB’s nominee for Mayor of Pleven in 2007, but only came in third because Union of the Democratic Forces nominee Nayden Zelenogorski already secured his third term in the first round; Tsacheva’s other main challenger was Bulgarian Socialist Party’s Vasil Antonov. Led GERB’s voting list in Pleven Province in the 2009 Bulgarian parliamentary election; was also the party’s proportional runner for that electorate, and won the proportional elections in Pleven Province with 54,880 votes (36.92%). Was chosen as GERB’s runner for Chairwoman of Bulgaria’s National Assembly following her party’s crucial electoral victory; was unanimously elected to that position with 227 out of 240 total votes and no votes against. Is married to the designer Rumen Dangovski; they have one son, also named Rumen, who is a high school student in Sofia.
Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria Centre-right political party with conservative and populist ideology. Founded 3 December 2006; has been Bulgaria’s governing party since 2009. Is led by current PM, former Sofia Mayor and ex-member of the National Movement Simeon II. Boyko Borisov. Its foundation was preceded by the development of a non-profit organization with the Bulgarian acronym GERB – Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, earlier that same year. While the party’s name is not said to be an acronym, it is nevertheless spelled in all capital letters. Came in second place in early January and February 2007 public polls on party endorsement with almost 14%, behind only the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which had 25%. Its stated precedences are dealing with crime and corruption, maintaining family values and accomplishing energy independence. Won the5 July 2009 Bulgarian parliamentary election; according to the parallel vote counting, it acquired 39.7% of the popular vote. Won the 2009 European Parliament election in Bulgaria with 24.36% of the vote; elected five MEPs, joining the European People’s Party- European Democrats Group in the EP (in the EPP sector). Applied officially to join the EPP on 6 June 2007; joined the EPP on 7 February 2008. Declared its runners for President and VP of Bulgaria- Rosen Plevneliev and Margarita Popova, respectively, on 4 September 2011; both won the election and were elected to their respective positions.
Bulgarian Socialist Party Centre-left, social-democratic and Third Way political party; known as the Centenarian (Столетницата, Stoletnitsata). Founded 1894 (historical) and 3 April 1990 (current name). Successor of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Member of Party of European Socialists and Socialist International. Currently headed by Sergei Stanishev. With 210,000 members in 2009, it is the biggest party in Bulgaria; also the party for which most Bulgarians voted in Bulgaria’s electoral history.