|3rd President of Bulgaria|
22 January 1997 – 22 January 2002
|Prime Minister||Zhan Videnov
Stefan Sofiyanski (Acting)
|Vice President||Todor Kavaldzhiev|
|Preceded by||Zhelyu Zhelev|
|Succeeded by||Georgi Parvanov|
25 May 1952 |
|Political party||Union of Democratic Forces|
|Alma mater||Sofia University|
Petar Stefanov Stoyanov (Bulgarian: Петър Стефанов Стоянов) (born May 25, 1952) is a Bulgarian politician who was President of Bulgaria from 1997 to 2002. He was elected as a candidate of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF). He did not succeed in the next presidential elections and after leaving office refrained from politics for a while but later became an MP in 2005 and was Chairman of UDF from October 1, 2005 to May 22, 2007.
Stoyanov was born on May 25, 1952, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. After graduating from secondary school, Stoyanov entered the Saint Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia law faculty where he graduated with honors in 1976. He practiced civil law in Plovdiv through the next fifteen years. Stoyanov speaks also English and German in addition to his mother tongue Bulgarian.
Quickly after the political changes in Bulgaria at the end of 1989 from communism to democratic rule Stoyanov embarked on a political career (1990), co-founding and chairing a Democracy Club in Plovdiv. Later in the same year, he became spokesman of the Plovdiv Coordinating Council of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), a new Bulgarian coalitional opposition to the former ruling political parties (BKP and BZNS).
When in 1991 UDF formed first non-communist government after the political changes in Bulgaria, President Stoyanov served as Deputy Minister of Justice. In 1993 UDF government fell out of power due to parliamentary voting of approval that did not reach enough votes. Thenafter, in May 1993, Stoyanov became a President of the UDF Legal Council.
In 1994 he was elected Member of Parliament and he was Deputy Chairman of the UDF Parliamentary Group, also Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Youth, Sports, and Tourism. In 1995 he was Deputy Chairman of UDF responsible for domestic policy.
On 1 June 1996 Petar Stoyanov won the primaries with 66% of the 870 000 votes cast and was nominated as the presidential candidate of the UDF. In the presidential elections he received more votes than the socialist candidate Ivan Marazov and George Ganchev, founder and leader of Bulgarian Business Bloc, in the first round. He then defeated Marazov in a runoff by winning 59,73% of the votes cast. He was elected President of Bulgaria with the support of diverse opposition parties on 3 November 1996.
On 19 January 1997 he was sworn in as President and on 22 January 1997 stepped into office. In January 1997 protests ensued in response to the worsening economic situation in Bulgaria under the government of Jean Videnov which was also not internationally supported and accepted (especially in the Western countries). President Stoyanov utilized his constitutional authority and appointed a functionary government headed by Prime Minister Stefan Sofianski. Early elections were also called in which a UDF-led coalition won an absolute majority in Parliament.
Elections for president in 2001
In 2001 after showing a compromate for Bogomil Bonev in an open debate broadcast in the National television Stoyanov's public support dropped and subsequently he lost the presidential elections. In the first round of the 2001 voting he finished in second place, as the socialist candidate Georgi Parvanov received 36.3%, Stoyanov received 34.9% and Bogomil Bonev received 19.2%. Stoyanov lost the runoff to Parvanov 46.7% to 53.3%. After leaving office he refrained from media attention for some time.
Later political career
In 2005 Stoyanov returned to active politics. He was elected as a member of the 40th National Assembly, where he became a member of the European Integration Committee and a member of State Administration Affairs Committee. Because of the UDF's inadequate result in these elections (8.4% of the popular vote, and 20 out of 240 seats), he blamed the party leader Nadezhda Mihailova, criticizing her policy. On October 1, 2005 the UDF National Conference elected him as Chairman.
On May 20, 2007 at the first Bulgarian elections for EU Parliament, Stoyanov - who led the UDF list - failed to get elected since UDF fell 1% short of the 5.66% electoral threshold. This resulted in his resignation from the chairmanship of the Union of Democratic Forces on 22 May 2007.
Petar Stoyanov serves as an Honorary Co-Chair for the World Justice Project. The World Justice Project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity. In 2002, as a fellow of The German Marshall Fund, Petar Stoyanov delivered lectures in the USA at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, New York University, American Bar Association (Washington, DC) and other universities.
Petar Stoyanov is member of the Bulgarian Internet Society since 2000, and has been regular Internet user.
Honours and awards
- Slovakia : Grand Cross (or 1st Class) of the Order of the White Double Cross (1997)
- Romania : Grand Cross with Sash of the Order of the Star of Romania (1998)
- Austria : Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (1999) 
- Denmark : Knight of the Order of the Elephant (2000)
- "President-Elect of Bulgaria Sets Sights on NATO". New York Times. 20 November 2001. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- The Honorable Petar Stoyanov, AUB
- His Excellency Petar Stoyanov, President Of Bulgaria, American Bar Association
- "Bulgarian EPP MEP Surprisingly Quits European Parliament". Novinite.com. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- Slovak republic website, State honours : 1st Class received in 1997 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders' table)
- "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1310. Retrieved November 2012.
|President of Bulgaria