Presidential elections in Bulgaria. Rumen Radew elected for a second term

The Bulgarian constitution essentially restricts the powers of the head of state, at the same time, in some circumstances, it gives the president important powers, e.g. to appoint a provisional government, which applied in the Bulgarian political reality this year. The two consecutive members of parliament were unable to select a government, and this meant that, under the president’s decision, from May executive power was exercised by provisional governments.

During the election campaign, Radev gained the support of the centrist party We Continue Changes Kiril Petkov and Asen Vasiliev, the movement “Straighten up, God. We’re coming” and the party is Such a Nation, singer, producer and TV presenter Slavi Trifonov.

Radew’s relations with the left have been strained in recent months. The leader of the BSP, Kornelia Ninowa, was in no hurry to officially announce support for the candidate for re-election, and the inner-party groups, disappointed with insufficiently pro-Russian attitude of Radev, even campaigned against his re-election.

How was your first term of office?

During his first five-year term in office, Radev criticized the previous Bulgarian government led by Boyko Borisov, incl. for the construction of an almost EUR 1.5 billion extension to Serbia of the Turkish Potok gas pipeline, and for the delay in the construction of a gas interconnector leading to Greece, which was supposed to be ready two years ago but is still not completed. In addition, the Bulgarian president expressed his strong support for the Three Seas Initiative, perceived by the left as an anti-Russian project.

For most of his first term in office, especially with the start of anti-government protests in 2020, Radev criticized Borisov’s government, accusing it of corruption. In August 2020, the president went out to the protesters shouting: “Down with the mafia.” These words became the dominant slogan of the protests. While voting in Sunday’s elections, Radew said that “we shouldn’t give chances to the past.”

Who is Rumen Radew?

Radew is trained as a military pilot with the rank of a general. This retired soldier has an impressive biography. For three years, until July 2016, he was the commander of the Bulgarian military aviation. From 2005 to 2009 he was the commander of the largest military air base Graf Ignatiewo, and in 2009-2011 he was the deputy commander of the Bulgarian military aviation.

In 1987 he graduated from the Military Aviation Academy, in 2000 he defended his doctoral degree in military sciences at the Military Academy. He holds a diploma from the American Air War College Maxwell, in which he completed the course on the doctrine of air wars strategy with the best result among foreign students, giving him 13th place among all 250 university graduates.

I have never spoken out against Bulgaria’s membership in the structures of the European Union or NATO. I have planned and directed many exercises within the North Atlantic Alliance. I was educated at the NATO academy ”

– this is how Radev responded to the accusations that, as a candidate of the left, he would strive to detach Bulgaria from the Euro-Atlantic structures and direct it to the Russian sphere of influence.

A controversial remark?

On the initiative of Radev, in June this year Bulgaria became the host of the Three Seas Initiative, which he describes as “A unique instrument for the development of transport and energy regional connections (…)”. The Bulgarian president invited Greece to this international political and economic initiative, offering it the role of an observer.

For the left, many of Radev’s pro-European steps were difficult to accept. The final support he received from her leadership was not categorical. However, the unwavering support of the faithful electorate turned out to be overwhelming. Probably restraint, not to say – the hostility of the BSP leader and some members of the socialist party’s board of directors towards Radev gave the impetus to his controversial remark that “Crimea is Russian”.

These words were spoken during the presidential debate with Gerdjikov on Thursday. Later, Radew explained that “I do not approve of the policy of annexation, but the fact is that Crimea is now part of Russia.”

The Bulgarian leader undoubtedly realized that his statement on the Ukrainian-Russian disputes would not only cause a negative international reaction, but also discourage the majority of center-right voters who voted for him in the first round from supporting his re-election. Radew, who is enjoying his re-election, is likely to try to fix the diplomatic awkwardness soon.

Source:, PAP

About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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