Borisov reshuffles the cabinet
Ruling Coalition Council decides that all three ministers who resigned will goEuropost , Sofia
The Coalition Council of the ruling GERB Party and United Patriots (Ataka, NFSB and VMRO) decided on 10 September that all three ministers who resigned on August 31: Nikolai Nankov of Regional Development and Public Works, Valentin Radev of Interior, and Ivaylo Moskovski of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, will vacate office.
The resignations were to be voted and accepted by the National Assembly on 13 September. As it turned out, however, a decree by President Rumen Radev releasing Mladen Marinov from his duties as secretary-general of the Ministry of Interior is yet to be filed with the parliamentary administrative office. Radev was on a two-day summit of the heads of state of the informal Arraiolos Group, which took place on 13 and 14 September in the Latvian capital Riga. He is expected to sign the decree on 24 September.
The three resigned in the wake of a bus crash near Svoge (northwestern Bulgaria) on 25 August, in which 17 people were killed and another 20 were injured.
Alexander Manolev, now Deputy Minister of Economy, was nominated for Transport Minister. But in the meantime he withdrew his candidacy. Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Mladen Marinov was nominated for Interior Minister. GERB MP Petya Avramova was nominated for Minister of Regional Development and Public Works.
“I heard the arguments of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB) and of its leader and Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov, as well as of GERB Floor Leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov. There is a lot of truth in their assessment of the ministers' performance. Clearly, each party wants to safeguard its cadres. For our part, Ataka leader and United Patriots Floor Leader Volen Siderov, VMRO leader and Deputy Prime Minister Krassimir Karakachanov and myself took the opposite view. This draws us apart from the rest, we can't say that [the ministers] are to blame for the tragedy but, unlike previous governments and cabinet-forming mandate holders, we cannot pretend that nothing happened,” Borisov said. “I am glad that everybody gives good marks to the ministers but, in my opinion, political responsibility must be taken,” the Prime Minister added.
Tsvetanov told journalists at the Council of Ministers that Borisov got his unqualified support. “All of us in the Coalition Council were unanimous regarding the three ministers' replacement. Still, we will respect the NFSB's position to vote against the resignations,” he pointed out.
He dismissed as “untenable” what he called the “provocative interpretation” that there are differences of opinion between Borisov and Tsvetanov or between the GERB Parliamentary Group and the Prime Minister. The Floor Leader added that “the appointee for the office of Interior Ministry Chief Secretary will be clear very soon, and he will be an insider to the system”.
“The decisions of the Coalition Council are entirely within the prerogatives of the power-holders, and the decision and the responsibility rests with the Prime Minister,” President Rumen Radev commented. “What matters to me is the end result - provided that it does not take too long and we are not preoccupied with the problems of the powers that be. Bulgarian society is faced with exceedingly grave outstanding problems,” the head of state said.
Approached for comment, Interior Ministry Chief Secretary Marinov said he accepts his nomination for Minister of Interior as an assessment of the work done by the ministry's professional team thus far. “We will continue in the same direction, with the same priorities and at a quicker pace,” he noted.
Meet the new ministers
Mladen Marinov was born on 21 November 1971 in Teteven. He is an alumnus of the Academy of the Ministry of Interior and has a master's degree from its predecessor, the Higher Institute for Officers' Training and Research and Development with the Ministry of Interior. Marinov also graduated from the Faculty of Law with the University of National and World Economy. He has been an employee of the Ministry of Interior since 1991. In 1997 he was given an officer's position at the Security Police department of the Metropolitan Directorate of Interior (MDI). He became deputy director of MDI in June 2013 and was later promoted to director, occupying the position from July 2014 until May 2017. With a presidential decree dated 9 May 2017, he was appointed as secretary-general of the Ministry of Interior. “I view my nomination for Minister of Interior as a positive assessment of the work done by the department's team of professionals. We will stay the course, have the same priorities and an increased sense of urgency,” commented Mladen Marinov.
Petya Avramova was born on 29 May 1963 in Vratsa. She is an engineer by training. Avramova attended the Technological University of Sofia and got her career start with the Heating Supply Company in Varna as an industrial engineer. Between 2009 and 2011 she served as deputy mayor of Vratsa in charge of special planning, municipal property, construction, and environmental protection. She ran for mayor of Vratsa as a nominee of political party GERB but lost the elections. In the following two years she chaired the Municipal Council. Avramova was MP in the 42nd and the 43rd National Assembly as well as the current 44th. She is a vice-chair of the Committee on Reginal Policy, Urban Development and Local Self-Government, and she is a member of the Energy Committee. She is also GERB's party coordinator for the Vratsa region.