With an undisputed victory in the country’s elections, Petkov’s formation managed to form an unprecedented ruling coalition at a time when his country was in the midst of an ongoing political crisis.
And while last spring Kiril Petkov was a complete stranger in Bulgaria, today he embodies the real hope for change in Bulgarian citizens. Its main goal is one: to put an end to the scourge of corruption.
In Bulgaria, Petkov successfully launched a probiotic laboratory, thus embodying the “journey of the golden boy” and thus charming and stimulating voters and supporters. This passion for success is something extremely important in Bulgaria, in a fragile society, in a country whose young people prefer to emigrate because it has no future. So being a successful person, starting from scratch and going through the United States and Harvard, is a very strong argument.
Appointed Minister of Economy last spring, when the country is in the midst of a political crisis, Kiril Petkov puts the fight against corruption first in his work. Bulgarians often call him “John Travolta” because of his visual resemblance to the actor.
The fight against corruption and the removal from political life of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who has dominated Bulgarian politics for a decade, were the winning formula for the success of his Continuing Change party.
Another important issue for the new Bulgarian prime minister: the fight against Covid-19. The vaccination rate in Bulgaria is below 30% and the country has one of the highest deaths in the world. Therefore, the main goal of the new Bulgarian Prime Minister will be to convince his fellow citizens to protect themselves from the virus.
On the international stage, Kiril Petkov presents himself as a convinced pro-European and wants to move forward on an extremely sensitive issue in his country: the accession of Northern Macedonia to the European Union – something that Bulgaria opposes.
In order to understand the rapid rise of Kiril Petkov, one must look at his career, which is completely atypical for the political class in Bulgaria. The new Bulgarian Prime Minister grew up in Canada, studied at Harvard, USA, and returned to the country only at the end of 2000.
He comes from a family with parents and teachers who emigrated in the 1990s, when Bulgaria was in the midst of an economic crisis. The family settled in Canada, where Petkov grew up and studied, and later moved to Harvard. In 2007, when Bulgaria joined the EU, Petkov returned to his homeland.