The Republic of Bulgaria was established after the collapse of the communist regime in 1989. The political life of Bulgaria takes place
in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic.
The President of Bulgaria, elected for a 5-year term, is the head of the country and commander in chief of the armed forces. The President's main duties are to schedule elections and referenda, represent Bulgaria abroad, conclude international treaties, and head the Consultative Council for National Security. The current President since 22 January 2002 is Georgi Parvanov.
The legislative body is the National Assembly (Narodno Sabranie) that consists of 240 members elected every 4 years. Political parties must have a minimum of 4% of the national vote in order to enter the Assembly. The Assembly is responsible for enactment of laws, approval of the budget, scheduling of presidential elections, selection and dismissal of the Prime Minister and other ministers, declaration of war and deployment of troops outside of Bulgaria, and ratification of international treaties and agreements. On the last parliamentary elections that took place on 25 June 2005 the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) won. However, lacking a clear majority itself, the BSP was forced to form a coalition government with the Simeon II National Movement and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms. On 27 July 2005 the Parliament choose Sergei Stanishev from the BSP a new Prime Minister. Further reading about the political situation please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgaria.
The principle organ of the executive branch is Council of Ministers. It is usually formed by the majority party in Parliament, if one exists, or by the largest party in Parliament along with coalition partners. Chaired by the Prime Minister, it is responsible for carrying out state policy, managing the state budget, and maintaining law and order.
Bulgaria's judicial system is independent and is managed by the Supreme Judicial Council. Its principal elements are the Supreme Court of Administration and the Supreme Court of Cassation, which oversee application of all laws by the lower courts and judge the legality of government acts. There is a separate Constitutional Court, which interprets the Constitution and rules on the constitutionality of laws and treaties.
Bulgaria and the E.U. Bulgaria submitted its application for E.U. membership in December 1995, with formal accession negotiations starting in February 2000. Over the next 4 years Bulgaria progressed towards membership, along with Balkan neighbour Romania, by implementing a raft of political and economic reforms, though slow progress in some areas caused it to miss the first round of E.U. expansion into Eastern Europe. As from 1st January 2007 Bulgaria is a full-right member of the European Union.