Bulgaria - President Rosen Plevneliev
Rosen Plevneliev was the fourth democratically elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria. He speaks German and English. Married, with three children. He was born on May 14, 1964 in the town of Gotse Delchev in a family of teachers. His father is a literature teacher and his mother is a mathematics teacher. He spent his school years in Blagoevgrad, where he graduated with honors from the High School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 1982. The same year he won first place in a national programming competition. From 1982 to 1984 he served in the School for Reserve Officers in Pleven and in the Command Center of the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army in Sofia.
In the period from 1984 to 1989 he studied and graduated from the Technical University - Sofia, majoring in Computer Science. As a student he participated in the development of innovative products at the laboratory of the Technical University and the National Institute of Microprocessor Engineering. In the period from 1989 to 1990 he worked as a research associate at the Institute of Microprocessor Engineering. In 1990 he established IRIS International AD and managed the company's activities in Germany from 1990 to 1998. During this period he was responsible for the management and implementation of more than 80 construction projects in Germany. Participates in the implementation of finishing works on projects such as the Reichstag, Commerzbank - Frankfurt, Munich Airport, Dusseldorf Airport and others. He manages some of the largest German investments in Bulgaria in the field of construction and real estate.
In the period from 1999 to 2009 he started large projects in Bulgaria, such as Business Park Sofia and Residential Park Sofia. From 2004 to 2009, as one of the leading managers in the country, he was engaged in active public activity, as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, a member of the Board of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria. member of the board of trustees of the For Our Children Foundation.
After the parliamentary elections held in 2009, he held the position of Minister of Regional Development and Public Works. From 2009 to 2011 he was responsible for accelerating the construction of highways in Bulgaria, the development of a Road Construction Strategy, the National Energy Efficiency Program, the achievement of balanced regional development and the introduction of a new approach to the management of EU funds in Bulgaria.
In the 2011 presidential elections he was elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria. Exit polls in Bulgaria showed ruling party candidate Rosen Plevneliev the likely winner of Sunday's presidential election, but without enough votes to avoid a runoff. The polls give Plevneliev about 40 percent of the vote, while his closest challenger, Socialist candidate Ivailo Kalfin, has about 30 percent. The two will met again for round two. European election monitors reported cases of vote-buying and voter intimidation. But Bulgarian officials say that overall, the election was problem-free.
Bulgaria's economy was the key campaign issue, with opposition candidates accusing the ruling conservative GERB party of stalling key reforms. The country is experiencing only modest economic growth, with unemployment remaining a problem. But Bulgaria is not expected to seek an economic bailout like several much larger and richer European Union economies. The winner of the election replaced President Georgi Parvanov, who is barred by the constitution from seeking a third five-year term.
Bulgaria's president will appoint a caretaker government ahead of a parliamentary election by mid-May after protests toppled austerity-minded Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, the president said on 22 February 2013. Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev tried an inclusive approach and met with protesters to hear their grievances. The protesters had yet to unite behind a single leader or carve out a clear set of demands or policies.
The resignation by Borisov's rightist government has failed to quell anger in the European Union's poorest country over high utility bills and protesters gathered on Friday evening in the capital Sofia and other cities. President Rosen Plevneliev said major political parties - including Borisov's GERB and their rivals the Socialists - declined the chance to form a new government and polls will be brought forward from the previously planned date in July. "We are heading towards an interim government. We have agreed that the possible timeline for next elections will be the end of April until the middle of May," Plevneliev told reporters after consultation with political parties.
Bulgaria's political stalemate deepened on 15 May 2013 after final results confirmed a prospective Socialist alliance with ethnic Turkish MRF allies lacking a majority, and its president warned of destabilization without a new government soon. President Rosen Plevneliev appealed to political parties to hammer out a coalition deal after the inconclusive weekend election in the European Union's poorest member state. "It is important to have a stable government. Everything else, new elections, would mean destabilization," he told reporters. "Bulgaria does not need new elections now. This will scare away investors."
Plagued by poverty, corruption and organized crime, Bulgaria has been in political disarray since nationwide protests forced the previous leadership from power, and it risks drifting further until a new government is formed. A turnout of just 51 percent, the lowest since the fall of communism in 1989, drove home the deep frustration of many Bulgarians with an entrenched political elite seen as corrupt and self-interested, and unable to boost incomes. A working government is needed urgently to negotiate EU funds for the next seven years, draft the 2014 budget and try to address popular anger over poor living conditions and high energy prices that kindled unrest earlier this year. Political uncertainty has driven up the cost of insuring Bulgarian debt against default.
The center-right party of former Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who once served as a bodyguard to Communist dictator Todor Zhivkov, won 97 seats in the 240-strong parliament. But it has little chance of governing as other groups shun it. Borisov's GERB party has in the past ensured a majority by getting the support of the Attack party but the nationalists have ruled it out this time around. Even if they changed their mind, their alliance would be one seat shy of a majority. GERB has been tarnished by its fall to street unrest and its embroilment in scandals over wiretapping and illegal ballots.
The more likely government will be one formed by the second largest group, the Socialists, who have voiced readiness for a non-partisan technocratic administration to shepherd a rise in living standards and avert further unrest. But the final results showed that the Socialists and their allies, the ethnic Turkish MRF, would also be a seat short of a majority and would need to persuade Attack, or individual legislators from either GERB or Attack, to work with them.
Bulgaria's new president, Rumen Radev, took his oath of office 19 January 2017, preparing the way for him to formally take over the post from Rosen Plevneliev. Radev, who is the country's fifth democratically elected president, was sworn in at a ceremony in parliament together with Vice-president Iliana Yotova.
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