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Kiril Petkov
Кирил Петков
Kiril Petkov 2021.jpg
Petkov in 2021
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Assumed office
13 December 2021
PresidentRumen Radev
Preceded byStefan Yanev
Co-Leader of We Continue the Change
Assumed office
19 September 2021
Serving with Asen Vasilev
Preceded byPosition established
Minister of Economy
In office
12 May 2021 – 16 September 2021
Prime MinisterStefan Yanev
Preceded byLachezar Ivanov
Succeeded byDaniela Vezieva
Personal details
Kiril Petkov Petkov

(1980-04-17) 17 April 1980 (age 42)
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada (until 2021)
Political partyWe Continue the Change
Linda McKenzie
(m. 2000)
Alma mater
  • Politician
  • economist
  • entrepreneur

Kiril Petkov Petkov (Bulgarian: Кирил Петков Петков; born 17 April 1980) is a Bulgarian politician, economist, and entrepreneur serving as prime minister of Bulgaria since 13 December 2021. He is the co-leader of We Continue the Change, a political party he co-founded with Asen Vasilev.

Early life and education

Petkov was born on 17 April 1980, in Plovdiv. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in finance from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University, where he was ranked in the top 10% of his class.[1] One of his lecturers was Michael Porter, with whom he specialized in the development of cluster strategies.[2] Petkov is one of the founders of the Center for Economic Strategies and Competitiveness at Sofia University, affiliated with Harvard University, where he has taught classes in economic development and microeconomics of competitiveness.[2][3]

Business career

From 2001 to 2005, Petkov worked for the Canadian food company McCain Foods as a corporate development manager.[2] Since 2007, he has been developing projects in the field of high value-added innovation, and his company ProViotik holds several patents in biotechnology in the United States.[2][4]

Political career

Minister of Economy

From 12 May to 16 September 2021, he served as Minister of Economy in the caretaker government of Stefan Yanev.[2] In his first television appearance as a minister, Petkov revealed that the Bulgarian Development Bank, controlled by the state and purported to support small and medium-sized enterprises, had distributed 500 million euros in loans to just eight companies owned by four businessmen.[5] He condemned the practice as 'outrageous' and initiated an audit of how loans had been allocated.[6]

Prime Minister of Bulgaria

On 19 September 2021, Petkov and Asen Vasilev presented their political project We Continue the Change (PP), an anti-corruption party seeking to be the uniting force that could bring all the other like-minded parties together to form a government.[7] The pair met while studying at Harvard Business School.[8]

After the initial results of the November elections were released, where PP came first, Petkov announced that the party would be seeking to come to an agreement with several of the other parliamentally represented parties, and that he would be willing to partner up with all parties that would join the fight against corruption in Bulgaria.[9] Petkov said he wanted to pursue "transparent" coalition negotiations with Democratic Bulgaria (DB) and There Is Such a People (ITN), and that he would be PP's nomination for prime minister.[10] The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and GERB were not included in the coalition talks.[11]

A series of talks on 18 policy areas were held between 23 November and 27 November, between the representatives of PP, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), ITN and DB.[12] On 10 December, the leaders of the four parties confirmed that they had reached a coalition agreement, and would form Bulgaria's first regular government since April.[13] Shortly after, President Rumen Radev announced that he had given the mandate to form a government to Petkov.[14] On 12 December, Petkov presented the composition of the incoming government, and it was approved by the National Assembly on 13 December 2021.[15]

Petkov was elected prime minister of Bulgaria on 13 December 2021, with 134 votes in favour and 104 against, and his new government was appointed on the same day by President Rumen Radev.[15]


On 27 October 2021, the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria retroactively overturned the decree appointing Petkov as Minister of Economy due to his status as a dual citizen, as the Constitution of Bulgaria states that ministers must only be Bulgarian citizens.[16] Although the position was retracted from him, his actions in the role were not nullified.[16] Political opponents of Petkov have called for action to be taken on this, namely Lozan Panov, a presidential candidate and chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Bulgaria.[17] Petkov was previously a citizen of Canada, and stated that he had renounced his citizenship in April 2021, but Canadian government documents showed that the procedure was not officially completed until August 2021.[18]

In the aftermath of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, he stated that he would welcome Ukrainian refugees. He stated, "These are not the refugees we are used to; these people are Europeans. These people are intelligent. They are educated people.... This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists."[19] This statement drew allegations of racism, given different treatment of people fleeing different conflicts.[20]


  1. ^ "Служебният министър на икономиката Кирил Петков бе отличен сред Достойните българи". 24 Chasa (in Bulgarian). 11 May 2021. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Президентът Радев обяви служебното правителство - вижте кои са министрите - По света и у нас - БНТ Новини". Bulgarian National Television (in Bulgarian). 11 May 2021. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  3. ^ Okov, Slav (26 November 2021). "'Harvard Boys' Take On EU Graft Spot Bulgaria in Cabinet Try". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  4. ^ Dzhambazova, Boryana (12 November 2021). "Harvard grad looks to break Bulgaria's electoral deadlock". Politico. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  5. ^ Didelot, Nelly (16 November 2021). "En Bulgarie, l'anticorruption gagne toutes les élections". Libération (in French). Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  6. ^ Dzambazova, Boryana; Bayer, Lili (15 June 2021). "Bulgaria sinks under wave of pre-election scandals". Politico. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  7. ^ Stoyanov, Mihail (19 September 2021). "Политическото напрежение: след заплахи шефът на приходната агенция вече е с охрана". Dnevnik (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  8. ^ Herszenhorn, Miles J. (22 November 2021). "Emphasizing Harvard Credentials, Bulgarian Politicians Win Parliamentary Election". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Tough Coalition Talks Loom in Bulgaria After Inconclusive Elections". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Bulgaria elections: New anti-graft PP party leads after Sunday's vote". euronews. 14 November 2021. Archived from the original on 14 November 2021. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Bulgaria presidential poll seen testing anti-graft reform appetite". Radio France Internationale. 21 November 2021. Archived from the original on 21 November 2021. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Bulgaria's We Continue the Change party announces schedule for talks towards coalition agreement". Sofia Globe. 22 November 2021. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Four Bulgarian parties agree to form centrist-led government". Euronews. 10 December 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Bulgaria: Anti-corruption party leader asked to form government". Deutsche Welle. 11 December 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  15. ^ a b Kotkamp, Lukas (13 December 2021). "Bulgarian parliament backs Kiril Petkov as PM". Politico. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  16. ^ a b Drumeva, Ina (27 October 2021). "Конституционният съд отмени указа, с който Кирил Петков е назначен за министър". Dnevnik (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  17. ^ Georgieva, Svetlana (28 October 2021). "Антоний Тодоров: Конституционният съд се включи успешно в политическата борба". Dnevnik (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Constitutional Court: Presidential Decree Appointing Kiril Petkov as Minister Violates the Constitution". Novinvite. 27 October 2021. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Europe's different approach to Ukrainian and Syrian refugees draws accusations of racism". CBC News. 28 February 2022.
  20. ^ Narea, Nicole (5 March 2022). "Why it's more difficult to flee Ukraine if you're not from Ukraine". Vox. Retrieved 5 March 2022.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Lachezar Ivanov
Minister of Economy
Succeeded by
Daniela Vezieva
Preceded by Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Party political offices
New political party Co-Leader of We Continue the Change
Served alongside: Asen Vasilev
This page was last edited on 29 April 2022, at 00:31
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