Rumen Radev Inaugurated as Bulgaria's Fifth Democratically Elected President

Rumen Radev Inaugurated as Bulgaria's Fifth Democratically Elected President

Sofia, January 22 (BTA) - At a ceremony on Sunday, Rumen Radev was inaugurated to become Bulgaria's fifth democratically elected President. The inauguration ceremony was held in Sofia's Sveti Alexander Nevsky Square.

Outgoing President Plevneliev led the way followed by President Rumen Radev, and the two, one after the other, saluted the guard of honour and representative units of the three services in the Bulgarian Armed Forces: the Land Forces, Air Force and Navy.

They laid a wreath at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier and observed a minute of silence in memory of the fallen for the freedom of Bulgaria.

In a brief speech at the ceremony, Plevneliev said that a difficult but successful presidential term is over. “I steered the country in the right direction and set the right priorities. I gave and did not take. I made mistakes as every human being but made no mistakes as President. I leave with my head high.”

He also said that power to him was never an end but a means. “I served the truth. I named the problems. This unites – it does not divide,” he said adding that he will continue to do that after he leaves the President’s Office.

Plevneliev said he fought for the rule of law and against ideas for distributing the world into spheres of influence.

Turning to President Radev, he said his term in office will likely be equally tough and wished him to be a wise president, to turn the president’s office into a centre of balance – not of power. He wished him to avoid major geostrategic mistakes and added that no democratically elected Bulgarian president has made such a mistake.

Plevneliev quoted Bulgarian freedom fighter Vassil Levski and his ideal for “a pure and sacred Republic”, and concluded with “Good luck, Mr President! Long live Bulgaria!

President Radev underscored the idea of continuity in his speech. He said he was immensely honoured to take this office from President Plevneliev before all these people. “Today’s ceremony has a deep meaning: a hope for a change that all of us expect and also an expression of continuity that is at the core of statehood. I want to thank President Plevneliev and all Presidents before him for their efforts to build a democratic Bulgaria.”

Radev spoke about the significance of the place where the inauguration ceremony was taking place: the square with the cathedral, the necropolis in the Church of St. Sofia and the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.

He spoke about some mistakes this country has made during the years of its transition. “Energy and time were wasted but we never swerved from our path: a peaceful transition and united society in the name of democracy.”

He said he will be President of all Bulgarian citizens regardless of party affiliations, ethnicity and religion. He vowed to seek balance and work with the Parliament, the government, all state institutions and the non-government sector, and pool everybody’s efforts to find what works best for Bulgaria.

“Let us build a more just society based on law and integrity. We owe it to our children and our forefathers,” said the incoming President.

He also said he will work with Bulgaria’s partners for stepped up European integration but will also “stand up for the rights and dignity of his people”.

“I believe in a good future for Bulgaria and its people,” said Radev.

 The outgoing and incoming presidents attended a prayer service in the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral.

The ceremony is scheduled to continue from here with the two President and Vice Presidents conferring separately, after which Rosen Plevneliev and Margarita Popova will be sent off by their successors at the main entrance to the Administration of the President.

Among the officials at the ceremony were Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and all Cabinet members, National Assembly Chair Tsetska Tsacheva and all MPs, Constitutional Court President Boris Velchev and all constitutional judges, Supreme Court of Cassation President Lozan Panov, Supreme Administrative Court President Georgi Kolev, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov, former President Peter Stoyanov, former President Georgi Purvanov, Chief of Defence Vice Admiral Emil Eftimov, representatives of the Defence Ministry, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, members of the diplomatic corps, the secretaries to President Rosen Plevneliev and their successors of President Radev's team.

Source: Sofia