Bulgarian President Jumps to Defence of Notably Absent First LadyDiplomacy | January 25, 2012, Wednesday // 14:20| views
President Rosen Plevneliev has defended the choice of his wife to abstain from public appearances. Photo by BGNES
President Rosen Plevneliev, who assumed office on Sunday, has deflected criticism over the notable absence of his wife during the inauguration ceremony.
"I have a real and a modern woman next to me. She is a devoted mother of three children and a true professional in her work who has built her own career," the new head of state declared in her defence.
"She supports me in the assumption that Bulgarians and Bulgarian media should better keep track of the actions of the President and the politicians, rather than the first lady's apparel," Plevneliev stated.
He noted that Bulgarian protocol regulations had no provisions about a "first lady".
Plevneliev used the opportunity to reiterate his firm commitment to the Bulgarian laws and the Constitution.
Upon leaving a meeting with Prime Minister Borisov, Plevneliev was told to "send greetings to Mrs. Plevnelieva".
Mrs. Plevnelieva's absence from the January 22 inauguration ceremony and her reluctance to make public appearances have raised eyebrows, dividing Bulgarian society in two clans - proponents of her "modern, non-Bulgarian mentality", and opponents who feel insulted by her negligence towards protocol rules and the representative function of the head of state.
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