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The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Bulgaria
Conventional short form Bulgaria
Local long form Republika Balgariya
Local short form Balgariya

Government type
Parliamentary democracy

Capital
Name Sofia
Geographic coordinates 42 41 N, 23 19 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofiya (Sofia), Sofiya-Grad (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol

Independence
3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday
Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)

Constitution
Adopted 12 July 1991

Legal system
Civil law

International law organization participation
Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Rosen PLEVNELIEV (since 22 January 2012); Vice President Margarita POPOVA (since 22 January 2012)
Head of government
Prime Minister Boyko BORISSOV (since 27 July 2009); Deputy Prime Ministers Simeon DJANKOV and Tsvetan TSVETANOV (since 27 July 2009)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly
Elections
President and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 and 30 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly
Election results
Rosen PLEVNELIEV elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Rosen PLEVNELIEV 52.6%, Ivailo KALFIN 47.4%; Boyko BORISSOV elected prime minister; result of legislative vote - 162 to 77 with 1 abstention

Legislative branch
Unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 5 July 2009 (next to be held in mid-2013)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - GERB 39.7%, BSP 17.7%, MRF 14.4%, ATAKA 9.4%, Blue Coalition 6.8%, RZS 4.1%, other 7.9%; seats by party - GERB 117, BSP 40, MRF 37, ATAKA 21, Blue Coalition 15, RZS 8, independents 2

Judicial branch
Independent judiciary comprised of judges, prosecutors and investigating magistrates who are appointed, promoted, demoted, and dismissed by a 25-member Supreme Judicial Council (consists of the chairmen of the two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22 members, half of whom are elected by the National Assembly and the other half by the bodies of the judiciary for a 5-year term in office); three levels of case review; 182 courts of which two Supreme Courts act as the last instance on civil and criminal cases (the Supreme Court of Cassation) and appeals of government decisions (the Supreme Administrative Court)

Political parties and leaders
Agrarian National Union or ANU [Stefan LICHEV]; National Union Attack (Ataka) [Volen SIDEROV]; Blue Coalition [Ivan KOSTOV and Martin DIMITROV] (a coalition of center-right parties dominated by UDF and DSB); Bulgarian New Democracy [Borislav RALCHEV]; Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV]; Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Boyko BORISSOV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB [Sergei STANISHEV] (coalition of parties dominated by BSP); Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Gergyovden [Petar STOYANOVICH]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]; Liberal Initiative for Democratic European Development or LIDER [Khristo KOVACHKI]; Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Ahmed DOGAN]; National Movement for Stability and Progress or NDSV [Hristina HRISTOVA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2); New Time [Emil KOSHLUKOV]; Order, Law, Justice or RZS [Yane YANEV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Martin DIMITROV]; Union of Free Democrats or UFD [Stefan SOFIYANSKI]; United Agrarians [Anastasia MOZER]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB; Podkrepa Labor Confederation
Other
Numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas

International organization participation
Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Elena POPTODOROVA
Chancery
1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 387-0174
FAX [1] (202) 234-7973
Consulate(s) general Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador James B. WARLICK, Jr.
Embassy 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1407
Mailing address
American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State, 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740
Telephone [359] (2) 937-5100
FAX [359] (2) 937-5320

Flag description
Three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue
Note
The national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed

National symbol(s)
Lion

National anthem
Name "Mila Rodino" (Dear Homeland)
Lyrics/music Tsvetan Tsvetkov RADOSLAVOV
Note
Adopted 1964; the anthem was composed in 1885 by a student en route to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War


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  Bulgaria (Sofia):


  GPS points from Bulgaria (Sofia)

Klisurski Manastire Oblast Montana

Platschka Oblast Gabrovo

Golyem Cardak Oblast Plovdiv

Saitschar Oblast Burgas

Messemwria Oblast Burgas

Redina Oblast Sofiya

Dukovtsi Oblast Veliko Turnovo

Dobromir Oblast Burgas




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