Bulgaria’s GERB, United Patriots unveil new cabinet

Bulgaria’s GERB, United Patriots unveil new cabinet
By Dimitar Koychev in Sofia May 4, 2017

The Centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), which won the early general elections on March 26, presented the composition of Bulgaria’s new cabinet on May 3. GERB leader Boyko Borissov will be prime minister for the third time. 

On April 27, GERB signed an agreement with the nationalist United Patriots coalition to form a coalition government. This is the first time the nationalist parties will join the government, and they will take several ministerial posts alongside numerous ministers from the previous GERB government, which left office at the end of 2016. 

Two of the four deputy prime ministers in the new cabinet will be from the United Patriots coalition, which includes three nationalist parties – the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB), VMRO-Bulgarian National Movement and Ataka. Their respective leaders are Valeri Simeonov, Krassimir Karakachanov and Volen Siderov.

Simeonov and Karakachanov will be deputy prime ministers, while Karakachanov will also be minister of defence, according to an announcement on VMRO’s website. The ministers of economy and environment will also be from the United Patriots.

A number of the new ministers have kept their posts from the last regular government headed by GERB. These include the ministers of finance, transport, energy, tourism, as well as youth and sports.

Tomislav Donchev, Ekaterina Zaharieva and Lilyana Pavlova were members of the previous GERB-led cabinet too and will remain in the cabinet but in new positions.

Former parliament speaker and presidential candidate Tsetska Tsacheva will be new the minister of justice. The new minister of agriculture, Rumen Porozhanov, is a former head of the State Fund Agriculture. Three months ago, caretaker Minister of Agriculture Hristo Bozukov demanded Porozhanov’s resignation with unclear motives, the 24 chasa daily commented.

Former Minister of Regional Development Pavlova will now be in charge of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU next year. Nikolay Nankov, the new minister of regional development and public works, is a former deputy minister in the same ministry. The new Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov has been head of Bulgaria’s privatisation agency over the past seven years.

At 9am (8am CET) on May 4, Borissov will hand to President Rumen Radev the successfully accomplished mandate to form a government, Capital Daily reported. Radev is expected to immediately pass it to the parliament, which will vote on the new government’s structure and composition on the same day. The new cabinet will take office at a ceremony tentatively scheduled for 1pm.

In the early parliamentary elections held on March 26, GERB won 95 seats in the 240-seat parliament. Its main opponent, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), won 80 seats. The United Patriots came third with 27 MPs, the predominantly ethnic-Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) won 26 and the centre-right Volya party was last with 12 seats.


Post Person
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov
Deputy Prime Minister  Tomislav Donchev
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy Valeri Simeonov
Deputy Prime Minister for  Public Order and Security and Minister of Defence Krassimir Karakachanov
Deputy Prime Minister for Judiciary Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva
Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov
Minister of Interior Valentin Radev
Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Nikolay Nankov
Minister of Labour and Social Policy Biser Petkov
Minister of Defence Krassimir Karakachanov
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva
Minister of Justice Tsetska Tsacheva
Minister of Education and Science Krassimir Valchev
Minister of Health Nikolay Petrov
Minister for Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, 2018 Lilyana Pavlova
Minister of Culture Boil Banov
Minister of Environment and Water Neno Dimov
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Rumen Porozhanov
Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski
Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov
Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova
Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova
Minister of Youth and Sports Krassen Kralev
Source: VMRO