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Bulgaria: Former King Named Next Prime Minister

Sofia, 12 July 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgaria's former King Simeon II has decided to become the country's next prime minister. A political movement named after Simeon, the National Movement Simeon II, won a landslide victory in general elections last month. Today, the party's floor leader in parliament, Plamen Panayotov, met with President Petar Stoyanov and announced afterward that Simeon has accepted the nomination to be prime minister.

Stoyanov said he will hand Simeon a mandate to form a new government on 15 July, and the former monarch will have another week to come up with a new cabinet.

The chairman of parliament, Ognyan Gerdzhikov, said he will call an extraordinary session on 24 July to vote in the new cabinet. Simeon's party holds 120 seats in the 240-seat parliament, one seat short of a simple majority.