Harvard-educated Petkov elected as Bulgaria’s prime minister

by Cristian Florescu

Bulgarian lawmakers voted in Kiril Petkov, a Harvard-educated entrepreneur, as prime minister and approved the lineup of his broad coalition government, ending months of political deadlock in the European Union’s poorest member state, write ekathimerini.com

Petkov, 41, whose new centrist faction We Continue The Change (PP) won Bulgaria’s third national election this year in November, secured a clear majority of 134 votes in the 240-member parliament to take over the reins of government.

He will lead an unprecedented ruling coalition with the leftist Socialists, anti-establishment ITN party and centre-right Democratic Bulgaria, united under the motto “zero tolerance for corruption,” for a four-year term.

He pledged to deepen Bulgaria’s integration into the EU and NATO alliance and intensify talks with neighbouring North Macedonia to solve a historic dispute that has prompted Sofia to block the start of EU accession talks with Skopje.

Other priorities of the new government include tackling the demographic crisis.

The country of 7 million has one of the world’s fastest-shrinking populations.

“I believe that after four years Bulgaria will be a different place,” Petkov said after presenting the government program.

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