THE MINISTERS OF THE TRIPARTITE COALITION
Finally, on Tuesday the 40th National Assembly formed the new Government. It is marked by the mandate of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), the biggest number of ministers coming from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), a PM who is the leader of the same party, and the fact that the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII) is taking part in it. The Government differs from the one proposed by Sergey Stanishev in six names only: the five ministers elected from the NMSII and Emilia Maslarova who is the new Minister of Social Affairs. Another difference is the fact that the Ministry of Youth and Sports has been transformed into an agency. The posts are distributed in the following proportion: eight ministers from Coalition for Bulgaria, five from NMSII, and three from the MRF. It's like that popular cards game in which you either make all the hands you have declared or start accumulating losses. Here is how the pack is dealt out: The eight from Coalition for Bulgaria:Prime Minister Sergey StanishevSergey Stanishev was born on May 5, 1966 in the town of Herson in the Ukraine. He has a history degree. In 1995 he became an expert in the international department at 20 Pozitano Street. A year later the newly-appointed chairman of the BSP, Georgi Parvanov, invited him to the active politics and then named him his successor. At the first session of BSP's 44th Congress in 2000 Stanishev was elected a member of the Senior Council. Then he entered the Executive Bureau and became the party international secretary. He was elected leader of the BSP on December 15, 2001. As of July 5, 2001 he became a member of the 39th National Assembly and chairman of the parliamentary group of Coalition for Bulgaria.In the parliamentary elections in 2005 he led the ticket of Coalition for Bulgaria in the second electoral region - Bourgas, as well as in the 25th one - Sofia. On July 27, 2005, he was elected Premier with 120 votes pro and remained on the post for about just five hours before the MPs rejected the government structure he proposed.Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivaylo KalfinHe was born on May 30, 1964 in Sofia. He studied in a French language school and has master's degrees in International Economic Relations from the University for National and World Economy, obtained in 1988, as well as in International Banking from the University of Laughboro, Great Britain, obtained in 1999. He specialized in Austria and USA. He was a member of the 37th and the 38th National Assemblies and worked in the field of foreign trade and as a corporate finance and macroeconomic analyses consultant. He taught finance in the International University in Sofia under a programme of the University of Portsmouth, Great Britain. He was President Georgi Parvanov's secretary on economic issues. Because of that and due to his friendship he is considered the President's most trusted person in the new Government.He is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Russian, and is interested in diving and squash. He is married and has a daughter.Minister of Finance Assoc. Prof. Plamen OresharskiHe was born on February 21, 1960 in Dupnitsa. He graduated from the Economic Institute in Sofia in 1984. Since 1987 he has been a regular assistant in the Finance Department. In 1992 he defended a dissertation in the field of investments and became an associate professor.Since 1993 he has been working in the Ministry of Finance as the head of the State Treasury and Debt Department. In 1997 he was appointed deputy minister of finance and member of BULBANK's Board of Directors until the bank was privatized. Since the summer of 2001 he has been a regular lecturer in the Finance Department of the Economic Institute. After the last national conference of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) he was elected deputy chairman of the party. In 2003 he applied for the Sofia Mayor post on behalf of the UDF, but before the local vote the party leader Nadezhda Mihailova withdrew his candidature.Minister of Internal Affairs Roumen PetkovHe was born on June 23, 1961 in Pleven. He studied in the Mathematics School in his home town. He graduated from the Mathematics Department of the Plovdiv University Paissiy Hilendarski. Then he passed a post-graduate qualification course in the Financial Management Faculty of the Economic Academy D. A. Tsenov in Svishtov. In October 2003 he was appointed leader of the BSP National Election Centre for the local elections. In June 2002 he was appointed deputy chairman of the Senior Council of BSP. Earlier, between 1992 and 1995 he was chairman of the BSP Municipal Council in Pleven. He was mayor of the municipality of Pleven from 1995 till 1999 and secretary on the Coalition Policy of the BSP Senior Council from 1999 to 2002. In 2001 he led the election campaign of President Georgi Parvanov and is now considered one of his closest allies. He was a member of the 39th National Assembly and of the Executive Bureau of BSP's Senior Council. He is fluent in Russian and is married and has two children.Minister of Economy and Energy Roumen OvcharovHe was born on July 5, 1952 in Bourgas. He is a physics engineer, specialized in nuclear power plants and macroeconomics. He was a member of the 39th National Assembly. He was also deputy chairman of the parliamentary group of Coalition for Bulgaria and minister of energy in the government of Zhan Videnov. Political observers remind his firm position against the decommissioning of the units of the Kozlodoui nuclear power plant and ironically note that now he will have not just to tone it down but also fulfil the country's commitments to the European Union.Minister of Transport Petar Mutafchiev He was born on April 10, 1961 in Parvomay. He is an engineer and a specialist in industrial production management. He was a member of the 39th National Assembly and among the main figures in the interim inquiry committee which was in charge of assessing the expedience for granting a concession on the republican road Kalotina-Sofia Ring-Road (northern arc)-Orizovo-Stara Zagora-Nova Zagora-Yambol-Karnobat-Bourgas in 2004. He is married and has one child.Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Assen GagaouzovHe was born on May 13, 1953 in Sliven. He is an economist, specialized in accounting. In 1999 he was appointed mayor of Sliven. He was a member of the 39th National Assembly and of the interim committee in charge of the activities of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works regarding the absorption of financial resources, launched by the European Union under the PHARE and ISPA programmes between 1999 and May 2004. He was also a member of two standing and a few interim parliamentary commissions. By an irony of fate he will now have to cope with the Trakiya highway deal from a different position. Minister of Healthcare Prof. Radoslav GaydarskiHe was born in the village of Gradets, in the region of Vidin. He studied in Vidin and obtained a medical diploma in Sofia. He leads the General and Operational Surgery Department and despite his political engagements he has not delayed any of the operations planned. He took part in the first liver transplantation in Bulgaria. Highly respected in the doctors' community and loved by his patients, the professor was named Doctor of the Year 2004.Minister of Labour and Social Policy Emilia MaslarovaShe was born in 1949 in Yakoruda. She has an economic degree and was minister of labour and social affairs in the governments of Andrey Loukanov and Dimitar Popov. She may have bitter memories of the protests of the pensioners in the year of famine during Loukanov's ruling. She is married and has one child.Minister of Culture Prof. Stefan DanailovHe is a man everyone knows. He was born on December 9, 1942 in Sofia. He started his actor's career as a student when he took part in the making of the film Traces Remain. In 1963 he was admitted to the Institute for Theatrical and Film Arts in the actors' class led by prof. Stefan Surchadzhiev. After the professor died, he studied in the classes of Metodi Andonov and Prof. Anastas Mihaylov. He graduated in 1966 and started working in the Plovdiv theatre.His first cinema parts were in films such as Monday Morning, The Sea and With a Tang of Almonds. He took part in over 100 Bulgarian and foreign productions. He gained international popularity due to his part as Major Deyanov in the 1969 film Every Single Kilometre. Since 1988 he has been teaching acting in the National Academy of Theatrical and Cinema Arts. He became an associate professor in 1996 and a professor in 1999. His students call him The Master.Stefan Danailov is a member of the Executive Bureau of the Senior Council of the Bulgarian Socialist Party. He was also a member of the 39th National Assembly and chairman of the parliamentary cultural commission. Moreover, he takes part in the Council of Culture and Spirituality. He is welcomed in the artistic circles and is considered the first minister of culture in the years of transition who really makes the country proud.The five from the National Movement Simeon II:Three ministers from the previous government have kept their posts. Two have changed their fields and two MPs have entered the executive power for the first time.Deputy Premier and Minister of education Daniel VulchevHe is one of NMSII's surprises in the tripartite coalition. Born in Bourgas, he is now a doctor in law and an associate professor. He is fluent in French, English and Russian. He was elected deputy chairman of NMSII on April 6, 2002. He worked as a judge on probation in the Sofia City Court between 1988 and 1989. He was an adviser in the president's office from 1990 to 1991 and then spent a year as the head of the Staff Policy Department in the Ministry of Defence. He has been a member of the Sofia Bar since 1998. Being a minister, he has probably terminated his participation as a co-owner of the Sigma OOD consulting company and a sole proprietor of the Consulting company. He will also have to leave the management of the Cyprian Nalco AD and of the Varna-based Riviera AD.Minister of State Administration and Administrative Reform Nikolay VassilevHe left the deputy prime minister's post, but did not leave the executive power. He only changed the Ministry of Transport with the state administration one. And this is not the first change of that kind for him - he joined the former transport ministry after heading the Ministry of Economy.Meglena Kouneva kept her post as Minister of European AffairsIn the former government she was considered among the ministers with excellent performance.Georgi Petkanov changed the Ministry of Interior with the Ministry of Justice. The judicial system is among the fields which according to the European Union need to be most thoroughly repaired.Minister of Defence Vesselin BliznakovHe was born on June 18, 1944 in Straldzha. He is a doctor, specialized in radiobiology and radiation hygiene. He works in the field of energy and radiation medicine. He was a member of the 39th National Assembly and succeeded to the minister's post his predecessor, the lawyer Nikolay Svinarov.The three from the MRF:Deputy Premier and Disaster Management Minister Emel EtemBorn on March 4, 1958 in Isperih, she is a machine engineer. She was a member of the 39th National Assembly and of its medicine commission. She became a member of the 40th National Assembly from Razgrad, MRF's 18th election region. The local structures of MRF accepted her application with reservation due to a serious scandal with the party leaders. She is Deputy Chairperson of MRF. According to political observers, she is Ahmed Dogan's right hand. She is particularly competent on personnel matters. Minister of Environment and Water Dzhevdet ChakurovHe was born on August 8, 1960 in Assenovgrad. He has a degree in medicine and works as a surgeon. He is a MRF member. He was an MP in the 39th National Assembly where he chaired the Environment and Waters Commission and took part in the Healthcare Commission. He is a member of the Central Operating Bureau of MRF where he is in charge of the relations with the Liberal International and the European Liberal Democratic Party. He is about to complete the belated measurement of the levels of the reservoirs ignored by his predecessor Dolores Arsenova.Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Nihat KabilHe was born on December 5, 1962 in the village of Podaiva in the region of Razgrad. He graduated from the Higher Institute of Agriculture in Plovdiv as an agricultural engineer. He is a specialist in plant-growing and fodder production. Since August 2001 he has been deputy minister of agriculture and forestry in charge of the structural policy, land relationships, agriculture and irrigated agriculture. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture in March 2005. He did not need to hand over the post he was entrusted in the government of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He is fluent in Turkish and Russian, he also uses English. He is married and has one child.