Rosen Plevneliev managed a narrow victory in Bulgaria's recent presidential elections on a reform platform pledging to clean up the country's corruption-plagued government, one of the most notorious in Europe. On November 3, Plevneliev was certified as the official winner in Bulgaria’s presidential race. The President-elect immediately declared that the first thing he plans to do after assuming office is fire all Bulgarian diplomats abroad who have been exposed as former agents of the communist Committee of State Security (CSS).
A number of questions arise concerning such a promise:
1) Is Plevneliev serious or just grandstanding?
2) If he is serious, can he gather the political support for this effort where others have failed?
3) Will he live long enough to carry through with this promise?
4) If the secret archives are finally opened, will many — if not most — of the incriminating files and evidence have been removed or destroyed?
The 47-year-old Plevneliev, a former Regional Minister and candidate of the ruling center-right party, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (known as GERB), is scheduled to take office on January 23, 2012. He will be replacing current President Georgi Parvanov, whose Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) is merely the renamed Bulgarian Communist Party, which ruled the country with an iron fist during the Soviet era.
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Photo of Rosen Plevneliev: AP Images