The President Decided: Dimitar Glavchev's Appointment as Acting Prime Minister

Politics | March 30, 2024, Saturday // 08:37|  views

The President has appointed Dimitar Glavchev as the acting Prime Minister, marking a continuation of changes within the government. Glavchev, currently serving as the chairman of the Audit Chamber, was selected as the candidate for acting prime minister by President Rumen Radev. Radev will meet with Glavchev to discuss the formation of a new cabinet. This decision follows meetings held by Radev with potential candidates for the position as outlined by the Constitution. Despite initial reservations expressed by some parties, including GERB, who noted Glavchev's previous role as a GERB deputy, the appointment has been made. The process of forming the new government will now depend on how quickly Glavchev can propose a cabinet and conduct consultations with political forces. The announcement was made during the BNT "Panorama" broadcast, where representatives from various parties extended congratulations and discussed the significance of key ministerial appointments, particularly the Minister of the Interior.

President Rumen Radev has been actively engaging with all potential candidates for the interim prime minister position within a span of just two days. Despite public declarations of willingness to adhere to constitutional procedures and the President's decision, none of the candidates expressed a clear desire to take on the responsibility. Borissov's remarks regarding certain candidates further complicated the situation, as did concerns raised by BNB Governor Dimitar Radev about European legislation limitations.

Observers speculated that the pool of candidates for the presidency might narrow down to the two deputy chairmen of the Audit Chamber, although both displayed reluctance to enter the political fray. Toshko Todorov expressed regret over the situation, describing it as unprecedented tension and misunderstanding.

Radev highlighted compatibility issues with these positions, prompting quick action from Parliament to address some obstacles. In a single day, deputies from GERB and DPS introduced and passed a bill in the legal committee and plenary hall, allowing certain officials, including the governor and deputy governors of the BNB, the chairman of the Audit Chamber and deputies, and the ombudsman and deputies, to take unpaid leave while serving as acting prime minister.

President Rumen Radev's remarks regarding the limited options for selecting the caretaker prime minister were echoed by the reluctance of most potential nominees to take on the role.

Following constitutional amendments, potential candidates for the position include the Speaker of the National Assembly, the governor or one of the three deputy governors of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), the chairman of the Audit Chamber, or their deputies, as well as the ombudsman or their deputy.

During a meeting with the President, BNB Governor Dimitar Radev cautioned against involving the central bank in politics, citing potential repercussions for the institution. He emphasized the explicit delineation of roles within the EU treaty and the European Central Bank statute, suggesting that these roles cannot be combined. Similarly, his colleague Petar Chobanov expressed reservations about taking on the position but stopped short of ruling it out completely, emphasizing his commitment to public interest.

Andrey Gyurov, formerly a member of parliament and now a BNB deputy governor, adopted a similar stance, deflecting questions about assuming the role of acting prime minister and deferring responsibility to the President to find a solution.

Dimitar Glavchev, the chairman of the Audit Chamber, refrained from commenting on whether he would accept the position of interim prime minister after meeting with Radev.

Glavchev's deputies, Toshko Todorov and Gorica Grancharova-Kozhareva, expressed concern about the possibility of one of them being appointed as acting prime minister, criticizing the parliament's decision to limit the selection to 10 individuals.

Ombudsman Diana Kovacheva, who is soon to be sworn in as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, stated that she cannot assume the role of acting prime minister due to her impending resignation from her current position. She emphasized the need for a prompt resignation to facilitate the election of a new ombudsman.

The process of electing a new ombudsman and deputy ombudsman would take at least a month, as per legal requirements.

On Friday, President Rumen Radev reiterated his commitment to upholding the constitutional requirements, despite his reservations about recent amendments. These changes allow the president to consult with parliamentary groups and, upon receiving a proposal from the interim prime minister candidate, appoint an interim government and set a timeframe for new elections within two months.

To navigate the potentially ambiguous sequence of steps outlined in the constitution, the presidential administration has devised a strategy: first, the president will issue a decree appointing a caretaker prime minister. Subsequently, the appointed prime minister will be given time to form a cabinet before the president convenes consultations with parliamentary groups. The constitution does not stipulate specific deadlines for completing this process.

Once a cabinet is formed, the president has the authority to schedule elections through another decree. If all steps of the constitutional procedure are finalized within 10 days, early parliamentary elections could coincide with those for the European Parliament on June 9th.

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Tags: Glavchev, Audit Chamber, acting Prime Minister, Radev


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