List of heads of state of Bulgaria

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bulgaria

This is a list of the heads of state of the modern Bulgarian state, from the establishment of the Principality of Bulgaria to the present day.

It also lists the General Secretaries of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1946-1990. From 1946 onwards, the General Secretary was the country's de facto chief executive.

Heads of State of Bulgaria (1879 – present)[edit]

Principality of Bulgaria (1878–1908)[edit]

House of Battenberg (1879–1886)[edit]

Prince Reign Claim
# Portrait Name Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Alexander I of Bulgaria by Dimitar Karastoyanov.jpg Alexander I
Александър I
(1857–1893)
29 April 1879 7 September 1886
(Abdicated)
7 years, 131 days Elected by the First Grand National Assembly

House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1887–1908)[edit]

Prince Reign Claim
# Portrait Name Reign start Reign end Duration
2 Zar Ferdinand Bulgarien.jpg Ferdinand I
Фердинанд I
(1861–1948)
7 July 1887 5 October 1908 21 years, 90 days Elected by the Third Grand National Assembly

Kingdom of Bulgaria (1908–1946)[edit]

House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1908–1946)[edit]

  Denotes Regent
Tsar Reign Claim
# Portrait Name Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Zar Ferdinand Bulgarien.jpg Ferdinand I
Фердинанд I
(1861–1948)
5 October 1908 3 October 1918
(Abdicated)
9 years, 363 days Proclaimed himself as Tsar
2 BASA-3K-7-342-28-Boris III of Bulgaria.jpeg Boris III
Борис III
(1894–1943)
3 October 1918 28 August 1943 24 years, 329 days Son of Ferdinand I
3 Simeon II of Bulgaria.jpg Simeon II
Симеон II
(1937– )
28 August 1943 15 September 1946
(Deposed)
3 years, 18 days Son of Boris III
Cyril of Bulgaria.jpg Prince Kiril of Preslav
Кирил Преславски
(1895–1945)
28 August 1943 9 September 1944 1 years, 12 days First Regency Council
For Simeon II
Богдан Филов.jpg Bogdan Filov
Богдан Филов
(1883–1945)
BASA-3K-15-391-1-Nikola Mikhov, 1943 (crop).jpeg Lt. General Nikola Mikhov
Никола Михов
(1891–1945)
Todor Pavlov.jpg Todor Pavlov
Тодор Павлов
(1890–1977)
9 September 1944 15 September 1946 2 years, 6 days Second Regency Council
For Simeon II
BASA 118K-2-87 Venelin Ganev (retouched).jpg Venelin Ganev
Венелин Ганев
(1880–1966)
No image.png Tsvetko Boboshevski
Цвятко Бобошевски
(1884–1952)

People's Republic of Bulgaria (1946–1990)[edit]

Status
  Denotes Acting Head of State
Head of State Term of office Political party
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
Chairman of the Provisional Presidency
1 V.kolarov.jpg Vasil Kolarov
Васил Коларов
(1877–1950)
15 September 1946 9 December 1947 1 years, 85 days Bulgarian Communist Party
Chairman of the Presidium of the National Assembly
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S99287, Berlin, III. SED-Parteitag, Rede Mintscho Neitschev cropped.jpg Mincho Neychev
Минчо Нейчев
(1897–1956)
9 December 1947 27 May 1950 2 years, 169 days Bulgarian Communist Party
2 No image.svg Georgi Damyanov
Георги Дамянов
(1892–1958)
27 May 1950 27 November 1958
(Died in Office)
8 years, 184 days Bulgarian Communist Party
Georgi Kulishev portrait.jpg Georgi Kulishev
Георги Кулишев
(1885–1974)
27 November 1958 30 November 1958 3 days Bulgarian Communist Party
No image.png Nikolay Georgiev
Николай Георгиев
(1906–1987)
Bulgarian Communist Party
3 No image.svg Dimitar Ganev
Димитър Ганев
(1898–1964)
30 November 1958 20 April 1964
(Died in Office)
5 years, 142 days Bulgarian Communist Party
Georgi Kulishev portrait.jpg Georgi Kulishev
Георги Кулишев
(1885–1974)
20 April 1964 23 April 1964 3 days Bulgarian Communist Party
No image.png Nikolay Georgiev
Николай Георгиев
(1906–1987)
Bulgarian Communist Party
4 No image.svg Georgi Traykov
Георги Трайков
(1898–1975)
23 April 1964 7 July 1971 7 years, 75 days Bulgarian Agrarian National Union
Chairman of the State Council
1 Todor Živkov (fototeca.iiccr.ro).jpg Todor Zhivkov
Тодор Живков
(1911–1998)
8 July 1971 17 November 1989 18 years, 132 days Bulgarian Communist Party
2 Petar Mladenov 1978.jpg Petar Mladenov
Петър Младенов
(1936–2000)
17 November 1989 3 April 1990 137 days Bulgarian Communist Party
General Secretaries of the Bulgarian Communist Party (1945–1990)
General Secretary Term of office Notes
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
1 Georgi Dimitrov.jpg Georgi Dimitrov
Георги Димитров
(1882–1949)
December 1946 2 July 1949 2 years, 7 months Also Prime Minister (1946–1949)
2 No image.png Vulko Chervenkov
Вълко Червенков
(1900–1980)
2 July 1949 4 March 1954 4 years, 245 days Also Prime Minister (1950–1956)
3 Todor Živkov (fototeca.iiccr.ro).jpg Todor Zhivkov
Тодор Живков
(1911–1998)
4 March 1954 10 November 1989 35 years, 251 days Also Prime Minister (1962–1971), and Chairman of the Council of State (1971–1989)
4 Petar Mladenov 1978.jpg Petar Mladenov
Петър Младенов
(1936–2000)
10 November 1989 2 February 1990 84 days Also Chairman of the Council of State (1989–1990)

Republic of Bulgaria (1990 – present)[edit]

Status
  Denotes Acting President
President Term of office Political party
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
1 Petar Mladenov 1978.jpg Petar Mladenov
Петър Младенов
(1936–2000)
3 April 1990 6 July 1990 94 days Bulgarian Socialist Party
No image.png Stanko Todorov
Станко Тодоров
(1920–1996)
6 July 1990 17 July 1990 11 days Independent
No image.png Nikolai Todorov
Николай Тодоров
(1921–2003)
17 July 1990 1 August 1990 15 days Independent
2 Zhelyu-Zhelev-20090423.jpg Zhelyu Zhelev
Желю Желев
(1935–2015)
1 August 1990 22 January 1997 6 years, 174 days Union of Democratic Forces
3 Petar stoyanov (1).jpg Petar Stoyanov
Петър Стоянов
(1952– )
22 January 1997 22 January 2002 5 years, 0 days Union of Democratic Forces
4 Georgi S. Parvanov.jpg Georgi Parvanov
Георги Първанов
(1957– )
22 January 2002 22 January 2012 10 years, 0 days Bulgarian Socialist Party
5 Rosen Plevneliev 2015.jpg Rosen Plevneliev
Росен Плевнелиев
(1964– )
22 January 2012 Incumbent 3 years, 103 days GERB

Living former heads of state[edit]

Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Simeon II 1943–1946 Tsar of Bulgaria 16 June 1937
Petar Stoyanov 1997–2002 President of the Republic 25 May 1952
Georgi Parvanov 2002–2012 President of the Republic 28 June 1957

Head of State titles[edit]

State Years Title
Principality of Bulgaria
(Under Battenberg dynasty)
1879–1886 Prince of Bulgaria
Principality of Bulgaria
(Under Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty)
1887–1908
Kingdom of Bulgaria
(Under Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty)
1908–1946 Tsar of Bulgaria
People's Republic of Bulgaria 1946–1947 Chairman of the Provisional
Presidency
1947–1971 Chairman of the Presidium
of the National Assembly
1971–1990 Chairman of the State
Council
Republic of Bulgaria 1990–Present President of the Republic

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]