Throughout the history of the modern Bulgarian state, the tasks of head of state have been undertaken by a monarch, a Regency Council, and, subsequently, collegial entities such as the National Assembly’s Presidium and the State Council. The institution of President of the Republic has a very recent history and is related with Bulgaria’s transition to democracy and the new institutional architecture that occurred as a result of this transition.
Bulgaria’s presidential institution was established on July 12, 1991, with the approval of the country’s new Constitution. The foundation of a republic with a parliamentary system of government was followed by the establishment of the institution of the President of the Republic as head of State.
As head of state, the President is historically the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. This role is carried out both during peacetime and during conflict. On the proposal of the Council of Ministers, the President has the authority to appoint and dismiss the top command personnel of the Armed Forces, as well as to grant the highest military levels.
During the time between the dissolution of the National Assembly and the holding of early legislative elections, the President effectively administers the nation. In this circumstance, the President creates a caretaker cabinet that reports directly to him or her.