Presidents Of Bulgaria Since 1990

Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy and these heads of state have served Bulgaria as president since 1990.

Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy with the post of the prime minister being the most powerful. The country’s three political branches of government are made up of the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. The president of Bulgaria is the head of state and also the Commander-in-Chief of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The president can reject bills for further debates although a simple majority can override the veto.The president is assisted by the vice president who is first in the presidential succession followed by the chairman of the National Assembly.

Presidents Of Bulgaria Since 1990

Petar Mladenov

Petar Mladenov was the last Communist leader of Bulgaria and the first president of the democratic Bulgaria.He began his career in politics in 1963 when he joined the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) becoming the first secretary of the party’s committee. He was appointed Foreign Minister in 1971, a position he held for 18 years. Following the decision by the Zhivkov to expel most of Bulgarian Ethnic Turks in 1989, Petar Mladenov together with few government officials plotted to overthrow him with Mladenov proposed as the new party leader. Zhivkov finally resigned on November 9, 1989, with Petar Mladenov taking over the duties of the prime minister and party leader. Mladenov led the country in ending Communist rule in December 1989. He brought about several changes in the management of party affairs and restoring its image. He was elected the first president on April 3, 1990, and resigned in July of the same year. He died in 2000.

Zhelyu Zhelev

Zhelyu Zhelev was the first non-communist president of Bulgaria who served from August 1, 1990, to January 22, 1997. He was expelled from BCP in 1965 for political reasons and remained unemployed for six years. Zhelyu Zhelev was elected Member of Parliament in June 1990. He was chosen by the assembly to replace Mladenov on August 1, 1990, becoming the first non-communist head of state. Zhelyu Zhelev won the election runoff of 1992 becoming the first freely elected president. In 1996 he lost the party nomination for the presidential race which effectively ended his presidency in 1997. However, Zhelyu Zhelev remained in active politics but on a small scale. He died in January 2015.

Petar Stoyanov

Petar Stoyanov was the second democratically elected president of the Republic of Bulgaria. He was elected in the 1996 presidential election and assumed office on January 22, 1997. He immediately called for an election and appointed a new prime minister with the aim of economic recovery. However, Stoyanov’s popularity declined due to the increasing financial difficulties. He was defeated in the 2001 presidential election forcing him to retire from public life briefly. He returned to public politics in 2005 and was elected as a member of the National Assembly. He currently serves as the Honorary Co-chair for the World Justice Project.

The incumbent President

Rumen Radev is a Major General and the President of Bulgaria. He was a Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force who won the 2016 presidential election as an independent candidate supported by other parties including Bulgarian Socialist Party. He is a decorated major with several awards and honors. He is expected to improve the economy of Bulgaria and steer the country towards economic stability.

Who Was the First President of Bulgaria?

The first president of Bulgaria was Petar Mladenov, who was in office between April and July of 1990.

Presidents of Bulgaria Since 1990Term in Office
Petar Mladenov
April to July of 1990
Zhelyu Zhelev
Petar Stoyanov
Georgi Parvanov
Rosen Plevneliev
Rumen Radev (Incumbent)2017-Present


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