Prime Minister of Bulgaria
The Prime Minister of Bulgaria is the head of government of Bulgaria. He or she is the leader of a political coalition in the Bulgarian parliament – known as the National Assembly of Bulgaria – and the leader of the cabinet; the current Prime Minister is Boyko Borisov. Government of Bulgaria History of Bulgaria Politics of Bulgaria List of Bulgarian monarchs List of heads of state of Bulgaria List of Presidents of Bulgaria
Municipalities of Bulgaria
The 28 provinces of Bulgaria are divided into 265 municipalities. Municipalities comprise multiple towns and settlements and are governed by a mayor, elected by popular majority vote for a four-year term, a municipal council, elected using proportional representation for a four-year term; the creation of new municipalities requires that they must be created in a territory with a population of at least 6,000 and created around a designated settlement. They must be named after the settlement that serves as the territory's administrative center, among other criteria; the council of a municipality is further permitted to create admininistrative subdivisions: mayoralties and wards or quarters. Mayoralties are overseen by elected mayors and comprises one or more villages or towns. Settlements are overseen by a manager appointed by the mayor of a municipality and thus have fewer responsibilities and less power than a mayoralty. Wards are overseen by elected mayors and must include a population of at least 25,000.
Like municipalities themselves and wards are designated administrative-territorial units, as they have their own elected officials. Settlements, are designated territorial units since their leaders are appointed. Bansko Municipality Belitsa Municipality Blagoevgrad Municipality Garmen Municipality Gotse Delchev Municipality Hadzhidimovo Municipality Kresna Municipality Petrich Municipality Razlog Municipality Sandanski Municipality Satovcha Municipality Simitli Municipality Strumyani Municipality Yakoruda Municipality Aytos Municipality Burgas Municipality Kameno Municipality Karnobat Municipality Malko Tarnovo Municipality Nesebar Municipality Pomorie Municipality Primorsko Municipality Ruen Municipality Sozopol Municipality Sredets Municipality Sungurlare Municipality Tsarevo Municipality Balchik Municipality Dobrich Municipality Dobrichka Municipality General Toshevo Municipality Kavarna Municipality Krushari Municipality Shabla Municipality Tervel Municipality ) Dryanovo Municipality Gabrovo Municipality Sevlievo Municipality Tryavna Municipality Dimitrovgrad Municipality Harmanli Municipality Haskovo Municipality Ivaylovgrad Municipality Lyubimets Municipality Madzharovo Municipality Mineralni Bani Municipality Simeonovgrad Municipality Stambolovo Municipality Svilengrad Municipality Topolovgrad Municipality Ardino Municipality Chernoochene Municipality Dzhebel Municipality Kardzhali Municipality Kirkovo Municipality Krumovgrad Municipality Momchilgrad Municipality Boboshevo Municipality Bobov Dol Municipality Dupnitsa Municipality Kocherinovo Municipality Kyustendil Municipality Nevestino Municipality Rila Municipality Sapareva Banya Municipality Treklyano Municipality Apriltsi Municipality Letnitsa Municipality Lovech Municipality Lukovit Municipality Teteven Municipality Troyan Municipality Ugarchin Municipality Yablanitsa Municipality Berkovitsa Municipality Boychinovtsi Municipality Brusartsi Municipality Chiprovtsi Municipality Georgi Damyanovo Municipality Lom Municipality Medkovets Municipality Montana Municipality Valchedram Municipality Varshets Municipality Yakimovo Municipality Batak Municipality Belovo Municipality Bratsigovo Municipality Lesichovo Municipality Panagyurishte Municipality Pazardzhik Municipality Peshtera Municipality Rakitovo Municipality Sarnitsa Municipality Septemvri Municipality Strelcha Municipality Velingrad Municipality Brezn
The Largo is an architectural ensemble of three Socialist Classicism edifices in central Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria and built in the 1950s with the intention of becoming the city's new representative centre. Today it is regarded as one of the prime examples of Socialist Classicism architecture in Southeastern Europe, as well as one of the main landmarks of Sofia; the ensemble consists of the former Party House, now used as administrative offices by the National Assembly of Bulgaria, in the centre, two side edifices: one today accommodating the TZUM department store and the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria and another, today occupied by the President's Office, the Sofia Hotel Balkan and the Ministry of Education. A Council of Ministers of Bulgaria decree was published in 1951 regarding the construction of the Largo; the lot in the centre of the city, damaged by the bombing of Sofia in World War II, was cleared in the autumn of 1952, so that the construction of the new buildings could begin in the following years.
The Party House building, once crowned by a red star on a pole, was designed by a team under architect Petso Zlatev and completed in 1955. The Ministry of Electrification office occupied by the State Council and today by the President's Office, the work of Petso Zlatev, Petar Zagorski and other architects, was finished the following year, while the TZUM part of the edifice, designed by a team under Kosta Nikolov, followed in 1957; the fountain between the President's Office and the older National Archaeological Museum, was shaped in 1958. The Largo once featured a statue of Vladimir Lenin, removed and replaced by the one of St. Sophia in 2000; the yellow-cobblestoned square around which the ensemble is centred is called Nezavisimost Square. Nezavisimost Square is formed by the Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov Boulevard and Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard merging from the east to continue as Todor Aleksandrov Boulevard west of the Largo. Following the democratic changes after 1989, the symbols of communism in the decoration of the Largo were removed, with the most symbolic act being the removing of the red star on a pole atop the former Party House using a helicopter and its substitution by the flag of Bulgaria.
In the 1990s there have been suggestions to reshape the former Party House, sometimes regarded as an imposing remnant of a past ideology, by introducing more modern architectural elements. According to the new architectural plan of Sofia, Nezavisimost Square is as of 2006 being reorganized; the lawn and the flags in the centre are to be substituted by a glass lid on the floor, so that the ruins of the ancient Thracian and Roman city of Serdica can be exposed in an impressive way, thus becoming a tourist attraction. The two underpasses, the one in front of the former Party House and the one with the medieval Church of St Petka, are planned to be connected, could be repurporsed as entrance ponts to the nearby metro stations
Movement for Rights and Freedoms
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms is a centrist political party in Bulgaria. It is a member of the Liberal International and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, is a liberal party, whose main goal are the interests of the Muslims Turks. However, its principal electorate are the Pomaks and the party relies on the biggest share of all the Romani voters 9 out of its 36 deputies are not of Muslim background. At the 2014 parliamentary elections, 3% of Bulgarian voters, 83% of Turkish voters and 44% of Romani voters voted for the movement, a record high share of Romani voters; the party won in Christian Romani villages and thus was alleged for trading with their vote. The party was established in 1990, but the official website of the party traces the roots of the foundation to 1983 when an illegal terrorist group Turkish National Freedom Movement was established, which committed over 50 fire-raisings, bomb attempts and murders on regular citizens until 1989 as a rebellion against the assimilation policies of Todor Zhivkov's communist regime.
After he had been set free out of the jail in 1989, Ahmed Dogan, a former member of the Bulgarian communist secret service, established the party. He headed it from its official establishment on 4 January 1990 until 19 January 2013, when a disgruntled Bulgarian Turk attacked him with a gas pistol. Ahmed Dogan has been recorded promoting changes of the international boundaries in accordance with the ethnic borders, clarifying that there are either peaceful and political means for this or military and aggressive; the ethnic or religious minority parties are not allowed according to Article 11, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution of Bulgaria, but the Constitutional Court denied to ban the party in 1992. On 19 January 2013, Lyutfi Mestan was elected as the second chairman of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. Mestan was removed from power by the insistence of the founder Dogan because he had declared support for Turkey for the shot Russian airplane Erdoğan blacklisted Ahmed Dogan banning him from entering Turkey.
Mestan formed his own party, named Democrats for Responsibility and Tolerance. Starting in 1990 as the first political party of the Muslim minority participating in the parliamentary elections, in the first elections in 1990 after the end of the communist regime, which the Muslims had boycotted, the party won 6.0% of the popular vote and 24 out of 400 seats and became the fourth largest party in the parliament. In the parliamentary elections in 1991 it won 7.6% of the vote and remained with 24 seats in а 240-seater parliament. In the elections in 1994 it won 5.4% of the vote and its seats decreased to 15. In the elections in 1997 it won 19 out of 240 seats. From 2001 to 2009, the party was part of the government, first in a coalition with the National Movement Simeon II party and with the Bulgarian Socialist Party; the party had ministers in the Sakskoburggotski Government, Stanishev Government and Oresharski Government. It won in the elections in 21 out of 240 seats. Subsequently, for the first time the party joined a coalition government, led by the winner of the elections.
Under the control of the party were two out of the 17 Bulgarian ministries – the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Minister without portfolio, the other 15 remained under the control of senior coalition partner NDSV. At the 2005 elections it increased to 12.8% of vote and 34 out of 240 seats and was kept in power as a part of the coalition led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and National Movement Simeon II party. The ministries under the control of the Movement of Rights and Freedoms increased to three out of 18. At the 2009 elections it increased to 37 out of 240 seats. Following the election, the government was occupied by the decisive winner, the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms was еxcluded from the government and remained in opposition after having been part of coalition governments for the two consecutive preceding terms between 2001 and 2009. At the 2009 European Parliament elections the party won 14.1% of the vote and three MEPs out of Bulgaria's total representation of 18.
Two of the MEPs are ethnic Turks and one is ethnic Bulgarian. In the Bulgarian parliamentary election in 2013, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms decreased to 11.3% of the vote. The DPS won the elections abroad with 41.3% and the most polling stations and voters in a foreign country were in Turkey. The DPS won four MEPs in the 2014 European Parliament elections. On 8 October 1991, ninety-three members of Bulgaria's National Assembly — all of them affiliated with the former Communist Party — asked the constitutional court to declare the DPS unconstitutional citing article 11.4 of the constitution which explicitly bans political parties "formed on ethnic and religious basis". On 21 April 1992, the court rejected the petition and affirmed the constitutionality of the DPS. Though the DPS has been a part of Bulgarian political life since some Bulgarian nationalists the far-right National Union Attack, continue to assert that it is anti-constitutional because it consists of ethnic Turks. However, the statute of the DPS states quite that it "is an independent public and political organization, founded with the purpose of contributing to the
Foreign relations of Bulgaria
Foreign relations of the Republic of Bulgaria are the Bulgarian government's external relations with the outside world. Bulgaria has good foreign relations with its neighbors and has proved to be a constructive force in the region under socialist and democratic governments alike. Promoting regional stability, Bulgaria hosted a Southeast European Foreign Ministers meeting in July 1996, an OSCE conference on Black Sea cooperation in November 1995. Bulgaria participated in the 1996 South Balkan Defense Ministerial in Albania and is active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative. Bulgaria's main focus is the Euro-Atlantic integration since 1997 and the efforts of the governments since led to admission to NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007, its main allies are Greece and Romania, while it maintains good relations with Serbia and the rest of the Balkans. Republic of Macedonia is important state in Bulgarian foreign and internal policy due to the historical and cultural connections.
With their close historical and economic ties, Bulgaria seeks a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia, on which it is dependent for energy supplies. Sporadic negotiations are underway among Greece and Russia for construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline to transport Caspian Sea oil from the Black Sea port of Burgas to Alexandroupoli on the northern Aegean coast. Bulgaria's EU Association Agreement came into effect in 1994, Bulgaria formally applied for full EU membership in December 1995. During the 1999 EU summit in Helsinki, the country was invited to start membership talks with the Union. On January 1, 2007 Bulgaria became a member of the European Union. In 1996, Bulgaria acceded to the Wassenaar Arrangement controlling exports of weapons and sensitive technology to countries of concern and was admitted to the World Trade Organization. Bulgaria is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. After a period of equivocation under a socialist government, in March 1997 a UDF-led caretaker cabinet applied for full NATO membership, which became a reality in April 2004.
Bulgaria and the United States signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2006 providing for military bases and training camps of the U. S. Army in Bulgaria, as part of the Pentagon's restructuring plan; the HIV trial in Libya resulted in the release of Bulgarian nurses imprisoned by Muammar Gaddafi's government in Libya. French President Nicolas Sarkozy secured the release in exchange for several business deals. In November 2010, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov formally announced his team proposes to close seven embassies as part of a plan for restructuring and austerity measures. Thus, in 2011, Bulgaria will most shut down its diplomatic missions in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Thailand and Tunisia; the choice is based on a scrutinizing financial analysis and on the necessity to optimize the diplomatic corps, the Ministry says. The staff of the Bulgarian diplomatic corps will be reduced by 15 people in total. In June 2010, media reports claimed that Bulgaria considers closing a total of 30 of its diplomatic missions abroad.
Bulgaria has 83 embassies, 6 permanent representations, 20 consular offices, 2 diplomatic bureaus. The proposed closures have been backed by PM Borisov who described some of Bulgaria's embassies as useless. Bulgaria joined NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1994 and applied for NATO membership in 1997. During the November 2002 Prague Summit Bulgaria was one of seven former socialist countries invited to join the Alliance. Bulgaria became a member of NATO in March 2004; the country is working toward NATO compatibility in communications and training, has established a Peacekeeping Training Center. In 2003, Bulgaria was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, proving to be one of 3 closest U. S. allies during the Iraqi Crisis, together with the Spain. Bulgaria presided the OSCE in 2004. Major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market. List of diplomatic missions in Bulgaria List of diplomatic missions of Bulgaria List of joint US-Bulgarian military bases Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2014 Bulgarian parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria on 5 October 2014 to elect the 43rd National Assembly. GERB remained the largest party. A total of eight parties won seats, the first time since the beginning of democratic elections in 1990 that more than seven parties entered parliament. Boyko Borisov became prime minister as head of a coalition with the Reformist Bloc and with outside support from the Patriotic Front and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival. After the 2013 election, the seat distribution was such that the new coalition government, composed of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and led by Plamen Oresharski, had only half the seats in Parliament, thus prospects of holding early elections were significant; the Oresharski cabinet was confronted by a series of protests starting on 14 June 2013, in response to the election of Delyan Peevski as head of the Bulgarian state security agency DANS. Following the setback suffered by the BSP in the European Parliament election - having picked up 18.94% of the popular vote - opposition parties called for early parliamentary elections.
The leader of the DPS expressed his desire to have the government resign so that early elections can be scheduled for the end of 2014 or the middle of 2015. On 10 June 2014 the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Sergei Stanishev, demanded the resignation of the government: "We cannot have the responsibility for the existence and actions of this government by ourselves." Following an agreement from the three largest parties to hold early parliamentary elections for 5 October 2014, the cabinet was to resign by the end of July. On Wednesday July 23, Oresharski's government submitted its resignation; the next day parliament voted 180 -- 8. After each party refused to try to form a new government, on 6 August a caretaker government led by Georgi Bliznashki was sworn into office and the 42nd National Assembly was dissolved with an election date set for 5 October. Twenty-two parties and seven coalitions registered to run on election day before the deadline. Two parties were denied registration.
The election campaign started on 5 September. Following his party's election victory, Borisov stated that his party would try to form the next government and that he "want to govern, in person"; the newly elected Assembly met for the first time on 27 October. After being tasked by President Rosen Plevneliev to form a government, Borisov's GERB allied with the Reformist Bloc to form a government and had the outside support of the Patriotic Front and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival; the cabinet of twenty ministers was approved by a majority of 136-97. Borisov was chosen as prime minister by an larger vote of 149-85
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