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Georgi Sedefchov Parvanov ( ) (born 28 June 1957) has been president of Bulgariamarker since 22 January 2002. Parvanov became president after defeating his predecessor, Petar Stoyanov, in the second round of the November 2001 presidential election. He retained his position following the elections in 2006. Parvanov declares that he is in favour of Bulgarian membership of NATOmarker and the European Union. He identifies as a socialist but left the Bulgarian Socialist Party after he had been elected president, as the president is not allowed to be a political party member. On election, his programme was to be a 'social' president, with care towards poor, unemployed and disadvantaged people. Parvanov helped in the creation of a three-party government coalition on 16 August 2005.

Early years

Georgi Parvanov was born in the village of Sirishtnik, Pernik Provincemarker on June 28, 1957. He grew up in the nearby village of Kosacha. In 1975 he graduated from a secondary school in Pernikmarker and in 1981 he graduated from Sofia Universitymarker as a history major, specializing in the history of the Bulgarian Communist Party. In 1988 he defended a doctorate thesis in history with the title "Dimitar Blagoev and the Bulgarian national question 1879-1917".

Professional career

  • Joined the Institute of History of the Bulgarian Communist Party as researcher: 1981
Main interest: the Bulgarian national issue and the early history of social democracy in Bulgaria


Political career

  • Member of the Bulgarian Communist Party since 1981 (renamed to Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP in 1990)
  • Deputy Chairman of the BSP Supreme Council: 1994
  • Chairman of the BSP Supreme Council: 1996
  • Re-elected Chairman of the BSP Supreme Council: 2000
  • Member of Parliament: 1994–2001
  • Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Friendship with Greece and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Radio and Television: 1994–1997
  • Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the Democratic Left and the Parliamentary Group of Coalition for Bulgaria: 1997–2001
  • Elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria: November 2001. Took office: 22 January 2002.
  • Ran for re-election in 2006. Won the first round with 65 per cent of the vote on October 22. As turnout was less than 50%, he faced ultranationalist Volen Siderov at the runoff on October 29. Parvanov won with more than 75 per cent of the vote.


Publications

Dozens of scientific articles, monographs and books, including:
  • Dimitar Blagoev and the Bulgarian National Problem 1879–1917, (1988),
  • From Bouzloudja to the Corona Theatre. An Attempt at a New Reading of Pages from the BSP's Social Democratic Period, (1995),
  • The Bulgarian Social Democracy and the Macedonian Issue at the End of the 19th century up to 1918, (1997)
  • Before and after the 10th, (2001).


Collaboration with Committee for State Security

In 2006 Parvanov admitted that before 1989 there was a file on him at the former Communist Security Service (Darzhavna Sigurnost, or DS) under the nickname Gotse (to the revolutionary Gotse Delchev). The file, which, like most files of the Security Service, hasn't been released to the public, does not prove beyond reasonable doubt that he has actually been an agent at the DS, and those who have had access to it disagree as to what it contains. According to Parvanov's own statement, the file only shows that he had been consulted as a historian in conjunction with the writing of a memoir book about events from one hundred years ago and especially the Macedonian Question. That was confirmed by two members of parliamentary commissions that had examined the files of the Security Service earlier — Bogomil Bonev and Veselin Angelov. Two other members, Metodi Andreev and Evgeni Dimitrov, accused the first two of lying and asserted that the historical research had only been a prelude, followed by Parvanov's consent to work as an agent and write a report about his institute.

A year later, on 19 July 2007, a special Commission for Opening the Files determined officially that the President Georgi Parvanov was listed as a secret police collaborator of the former Communist Security Service from 1989 till 1993. He was recruited a month before Bulgaria's communist regime collapsed. It also became obvious that a large part of his secret file was missing.

2006 Elections

In the first round of the elections, incumbent Parvanov came first with 64.047% ahead of ultranationalist leader Volen Siderov with 21.486%, whom he had to face in a run-off, as Bulgarian law requires a turnout of at least 50% for a president to be elected in the first round. The voter turnout in the first round was 42.51%.

The second round saw a decisive Parvanov victory of around 75.9% as opposed to Siderov's 24.1%, meaning that Parvanov became the first person to be democratically re-elected as President of Bulgaria. The turnout was 41.11%.

Political Stances

Although the office of the Bulgarian President is largely representative and executive power lies within the government, Georgi Parvanov has played an active political role. Georgi Parvanov has been implicated in a number of controversies, which has led many of Bulgaria's opposition parties as well as leading politicians and intellectuals to call for his impeachment. Some of the notable events and controversies in Paravnov's presidency are listed below.

Bulgarian Christmas Charity Campaign (2003-2008)

Georgi Parvanov initiated the "Bulgarian Christmas" campaign. The funds raised were used for the treatment of sick children and renovating hospitals and health institutions. Over the years, millions of euro have been donated by private individuals and companies. Parvanov has been closely related to the campaign and a warranter that the money would be spent as prescribed.

Iraq Oil for Food program (2004)

The report of the Special Commission of the United Nations into the misconducts of the Iraqi "Oil for food" suggests that in 1998 Saddam Hussein took bribes from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, then lead by Parvanov and companies close to the party. Parvanov denied these allegations explaining that the party's financing was transparent and legitimate. No further evidence to support these claims were found.

References and notes

  1. Zhelyu Zhelev, although having served two terms, was elected as a president not by popular vote, but by the National Assembly for his first term.


See also



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