Head of State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad resigns to become nationalist MP

Head of State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad resigns to become nationalist MP

At a meeting on April 5, Bulgaria’s caretaker cabinet accepted the resignation of State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad head Boris Vangelov, who is to take up a seat in the newly-elected National Assembly in the nationalist United Patriots group.

Vangelov, then a legal adviser for the nationalist VMRO Foundation, was appointed the head of the agency in March 2015, reportedly at the insistence of VMRO leader Krassimir Karakachanov.

The VMRO is part of the United Patriots coalition, which currently is in talks with GERB leader Boiko Borissov about the formation of a coalition government.

A cabinet spokesperson said on April 5 that Vangelov had not been fired but had left the agency post at his own request to take up his seat as an MP. In Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections, Vangelov was elected from the Gabrovo electoral district.

The agency will temporarily be headed by its deputy chairman, Dimitar Vladimirov.

Bulgarian-language media reports said that the VMRO was still considering whether again to put forward a chief for the agency, and would decide this pending the outcome of the coalition government negotiations with Borissov.

The March 2015 appointment of Vangelov came after a series of controversies involving the agency.

In 2014, the then-head Yordan Yanev was dismissed after Bulgarian-language media reports of alleged irregularities at the agency in not keeping to rules on requiring documentary proof before endorsing the issuing of citizenship to people on the basis of claims of ethnic Bulgarian descent.

The time in office of Yanev’s replacement, Iva Yordanova, was short-lived after public controversy about whether she was qualified for the post and media reports highlighting her relationship with Bozhidar Loukarski, then the leader of a party that was part of the Reformist Bloc, which at the time was a minority partner in the Borissov coalition cabinet formed in November 2014./IBNA