Politics of Bulgaria
Bulgaria joined NATO on March 29, 2004 and signed the Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005. It became a full member of the European Union on 1 January 2007. The country has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, and is a founding member of OSCE. As a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty, Bulgaria takes part in the governing of the territories situated south of 60° south latitude.

Georgi Parvanov, the President of Bulgaria since 22 January 2002, was re-elected on 29 October 2006 and began his second term in office in January 2007. Bulgarian presidents are directly elected for a five-year term with the right to one re-election. The president serves as the head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. He is also the head of the Consultative Council for National Security and, while unable to initiate legislation other than Constitutional amendments, the President can return a bill for further debate, although the parliament can override the President's veto by vote of a majority of all MPs.

The Council of Ministers is chaired by the PM (Sergey Stanishev since 18 August 2005); it is the principal body of the Executive Branch and presently consists of 20 ministers. The Prime Minister is usually nominated by the largest parliamentary group, and is given a mandate by the President to form a cabinet.

The current governmental coalition is made up of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), National Movement Simeon II (NMS) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (representing mainly the Turkish minority).

The Parliament in downtown Sofia.

The Bulgarian unicameral parliament, the National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie , consists of 240 deputies who are elected for four-year terms by popular vote. The votes are for party or coalition lists of candidates for each of the 28 administrative divisions. A party or coalition must garner a minimum of 4% of the vote in order to enter parliament. Parliament is responsible for enactment of laws, approval of the budget, scheduling of presidential elections, selection and dismissal of the Prime Minister and other ministers, declaration of war, deployment of troops outside of Bulgaria, and ratification of international treaties and agreements.

The last elections took place on June 2005. The next elections are planned for summer 2009.

The Bulgarian judicial system consists of regional, district and appeal courts, as well as a Supreme Court of Cassation. In addition, there is a Supreme Administrative Court and a system of military courts. The Presidents of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Supreme Administrative Court and the Prosecutor General are elected by a qualified majority of two-thirds from all the members of the Supreme Judicial Council and are appointed by the President of the Republic. The Supreme Judicial Council is in charge of the self-administration and organization of the Judiciary.

The Constitutional Court is in charge of reviewing the constitutionality of laws and statutes brought before it, as well as the compliance of these laws with international treaties that the Government has signed. Parliament elects the twelve members of the Constitutional Court by a two-thirds majority, the members serve a nine-year term.

The territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is divided into provinces and municipalities. In all Bulgaria has 28 provinces, each headed by a provincial governor appointed by the government. In addition, there are 263 municipalities.

The edifice of the National Assembly of Bulgaria (center) in central Sofia.
The Largo.
The President's office