Bulgaria’s prime minister Boyko Borissov demanded the resignation of education and science minister Todor Tanev and his team on January 28.
The demand follows clashes within Bulgaria’s ruling coalition over judicial reform, but the demand for Tanev to quit is more closely linked to problems within the ministry. Tanev had previously been criticised several times by Borissov, most recently over controversial proposed changes to the school curricula.
The PM asked the Reformist Bloc to propose by the end of the day a new team for the ministry that will continue with reforms. The Reformist Bloc - the junior coalition partner of Borissov’s Citizens for European Development (GERB) - holds the education ministry
Borissov said that said he thinks that new people are needed because of repeatedly surfacing problems in the ministry and the sector. Specifically, the prime minister wrote on his Facebook page that he considers it is “unacceptable to make changes in the education sector that have not been previously subject to broad public discussion.”
Earlier on January 28, Tanev had said that there would be changes in his team. This statement was made after a meeting with representatives of the nationalist Patriotic Front, which usually supports the government. The Patriotic Front had demanded the resignations of one deputy minister of education, as well as the heads of Tanev’s political cabinet and one directorate in the ministry over the proposed changes to the curricula.
In December, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB), one of the five parties in the Reformist Bloc, withdrew its support for the government amid a deepening dispute over judicial reform. Back then, Tanev said that the only person who can demand his resignation was Borissov. He reiterated this statement on January 28 after learning of the prime minister’s demand. Tanev is a member of the citizens’ council of the Reformist Bloc.
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