Bulgaria Most Popular Minister Quits to Run for President

Bulgaria Most Popular Minister Quits to Run for President

Bulgaria's regional development minister is expected to resign from his cabinet post on Wednesday, three days after the ruling party nominated him to run for president in the October 23 presidential vote.

Rosen Plevneliev, 47, will quit office after a two-year stint as minister, during which he put in lots of efforts to renew Bulgaria's crumbling infrastructure and managed to become the most popular member of the center-right cabinet.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is expected to announce Plevneliev's successor on Wednesday.

Deputy Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova has been tipped to be the favorite for taking over the cabinet job, very dear to Borisov's heart as it is in charge of building highways, on which he has pinned lots of hopes to boost lagging support for the government among voters.

Over the past few days EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev has also emerged as a possible successor.

Minister Donchev was appointed in the middle of last year amid great expectations to control the proper use of European Union subsidies, prevent fraud and clean up Bulgaria's record with Brussels.

Government sources say that final choice was really between these two. The name will be publicly announced on Wednesday at the regular meeting of the cabinet.

Sources say Pavlova has high chances to be appointed as minister since Borisov considers continuity in the regional ministry team to be very important and insists that the pace of work there does not slacken. Pavlova has so far been in charge of the operational programs in the department, which are among those with the highest EU funds absorption rates.

Following months of speculations Bulgaria's ruling center-right party GERB officially nominated on September 4 Minister of Regional Development Rosen Plevneliev as its candidate in the October 23 presidential elections.

In the presidential race, he will be supported by current Bulgarian Minister of Justice Margarita Popova as a running mate. She will not resign however but just take a leave for the pre-election campaign.

The candidacies, unusually late for the Bulgarian political tradition, came at a GERB press conference Sunday afternoon amid great interest on the part of media.

Borisov stated that in nominating Plevneliev, GERB has looked for a candidate with a long-term strategic vision and priorities for the development of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria must shape its future with a clear resolve and hard work, stated Minister of Regional Development Rosen Plevneliev at his nomination for presidential candidate by the GERB ruling party./Source: Sofia News Agency/


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