List of heads of state of Bulgaria

Coat of arms of Bulgaria.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bulgaria

This is a list of the heads of state of the modern Bulgarian state, from the establishment of the Principality of Bulgaria to the present day.

It also lists the General Secretaries of the Bulgarian Communist Party in 1946–1990. From 1946 onwards, the General Secretary was the country's de facto chief executive.

Principality of Bulgaria (1878–1908)[]

House of Battenberg (1879–1886)[]

Prince Reign Claim
Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Reign start Reign end Duration
Alexander I of Bulgaria by Dimitar Karastoyanov.jpg Alexander I
1857–1893
(Lived: 36 years)
29 April 1879 7 September 1886
(Abdicated)
7 years, 131 days Elected by the First Grand National Assembly

House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1887–1908)[]

Prince Reign Claim
Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Reign start Reign end Duration
Zar Ferdinand Bulgarien.jpg Ferdinand I
1861–1948
(Lived: 87 years)
7 July 1887 5 October 1908 21 years, 90 days Elected by the Third Grand National Assembly

Kingdom of Bulgaria (1908–1946)[]

House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1908–1946)[]

  Denotes Regent
Tsar Reign Claim
Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Reign start Reign end Duration
Zar Ferdinand Bulgarien.jpg Ferdinand I
1861–1948
(Lived: 87 years)
5 October 1908 3 October 1918
(Abdicated)
9 years, 363 days Proclaimed himself as Tsar
BASA-3K-7-342-28-Boris III of Bulgaria.jpeg Boris III
1894–1943
(Lived: 49 years)
3 October 1918 28 August 1943 24 years, 329 days Son of Ferdinand I
Simeon Sakskoburggotski.jpg Simeon II
Born 1937
(81 years old)
28 August 1943 15 September 1946
(Deposed)
3 years, 18 days Son of Boris III
BASA-3K-15-273-9-Prince Kyril of Bulgaria.jpeg Prince Kiril of Preslav
1895–1945
(Lived: 49 years)
28 August 1943 9 September 1944
(Deposed)
1 year, 12 days First Regency Council
For Simeon II
Богдан Филов.jpg Bogdan Filov
1883–1945
(Lived: 61 years)
BASA-3K-15-391-1-Nikola Mikhov, 1943 (crop).jpeg Lt. General Nikola Mikhov
1891–1945
(Lived: 53 years)
Todor Pavlov.jpg Todor Pavlov
1890–1977
(Lived: 87 years)
9 September 1944 15 September 1946
(Deposed)
2 years, 6 days Second Regency Council
For Simeon II
BASA 118K-2-87 Venelin Ganev (retouched).jpg Venelin Ganev
1880–1966
(Lived: 86 years)
Tsvyatko Boboshevski.png Tsvetko Boboshevski
1884–1952
(Lived: 68 years)

People's Republic of Bulgaria (1946–1990)[]

Status
  Denotes Acting Head of State
Head of State Term of office Duration Political party
Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Election Took office Left office
Chairman of the Provisional Presidency
V.kolarov.jpg Vasil Kolarov
1877–1950
(Lived: 72 years)
15 September 1946 9 December 1947 1 year, 85 days BCP
Chairman of the Presidium of the National Assembly
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S99287, Berlin, III. SED-Parteitag, Rede Mintscho Neitschev cropped.jpg Mincho Neychev
1887–1956
(Lived: 69 years)
9 December 1947 27 May 1950 2 years, 169 days BCP
No image.svg Georgi Damyanov
1892–1958
(Lived: 66 years)
27 May 1950 27 November 1958
(Died)
8 years, 184 days BCP
Georgi Kulishev portrait.jpg Georgi Kulishev
1885–1974
(Lived: 89 years)
27 November 1958 30 November 1958 3 days BCP
No image.png Nikolay Georgiev
1906–1988
(Lived: 81 years)
BANU
No image.svg Dimitar Ganev
1898–1964
(Lived: 65 years)
30 November 1958 20 April 1964
(Died)
5 years, 142 days BCP
Georgi Kulishev portrait.jpg Georgi Kulishev
1885–1974
(Lived: 89 years)
20 April 1964 23 April 1964 3 days BCP
No image.png Nikolay Georgiev
1906–1988
(Lived: 81 years)
BANU
Georgi Traykov.jpg Georgi Traykov
1898–1975
(Lived: 76 years)
23 April 1964 7 July 1971 7 years, 75 days BANU
Chairman of the State Council
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0115-0010-066, Berlin, VI. SED-Parteitag, Warnke, Shiwkow - Zhivkov.jpg Todor Zhivkov
1911–1998
(Lived: 86 years)
7 July 1971 17 November 1989 18 years, 133 days BCP
Petar Mladenov 1978 (cropped).jpg Petar Mladenov
1936–2000
(Lived: 63 years)
17 November 1989 3 April 1990 137 days BCP
Chairman (President) of the Republic
Petar Mladenov 1978 (cropped).jpg Petar Mladenov
1936–2000
(Lived: 63 years)
(Apr) 1990 3 April 1990 6 July 1990 94 days BSP
Stanko Todorov.jpg Stanko Todorov
1920–1996
(Lived: 76 years)
6 July 1990 17 July 1990 11 days BSP
No image.png Nikolai Todorov
1921–2003
(Lived: 82 years)
17 July 1990 1 August 1990 15 days Independent
Zhelyu-Zhelev-20090423.jpg Zhelyu Zhelev
1935–2015
(Lived: 79 years)
(Jul-Aug) 1990 1 August 1990 15 November 1990 106 days UDF

General Secretaries of the Bulgarian Communist Party (1946–1990)[]

General Secretary Term of office Notes
Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Took office Left office Duration
Georgi Dimitrov.jpg Georgi Dimitrov
1882–1949
(Lived: 67 years)
December 1946 2 July 1949 2 years, 7 months Also Prime Minister (1946–1949)
Valko Chervenkov.jpg Valko Chervenkov
1900–1980
(Lived: 80 years)
2 July 1949 4 March 1954 4 years, 245 days Also Prime Minister (1950–1956)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0115-0010-066, Berlin, VI. SED-Parteitag, Warnke, Shiwkow - Zhivkov.jpg Todor Zhivkov
1911–1998
(Lived: 86 years)
4 March 1954 10 November 1989 35 years, 251 days Also Prime Minister (1962–1971), and Chairman of the Council of State (1971–1989)
Petar Mladenov 1978 (cropped).jpg Petar Mladenov
1936–2000
(Lived: 63 years)
10 November 1989 2 February 1990 84 days Also Chairman of the Council of State (1989–1990)

Republic of Bulgaria (1990–present)[]

President Term of office Duration Political party
Portrait Name
(Born–Died)
Election Took office Left office
Chairman (President) of the Republic
Zhelyu-Zhelev-20090423.jpg Zhelyu Zhelev
1935–2015
(Lived: 79 years)
1 August 1990 22 January 1992 1 year, 68 days UDF
President of the Republic
Zhelyu-Zhelev-20090423.jpg Zhelyu Zhelev
1935–2015
(Lived: 79 years)
1992 22 January 1992 22 January 1997 5 years, 0 days UDF
Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP Congress Rome 2006 (48) (cropped).jpg Petar Stoyanov
Born 1952
(66 years old)
1996 22 January 1997 22 January 2002 5 years, 0 days UDF
Georgi Parvanov Senate of Poland 01.jpg Georgi Parvanov
Born 1957
(61 years old)
2001
2006
22 January 2002 22 January 2012 10 years, 0 days BSP
Rosen Plevneliev 2016.jpg Rosen Plevneliev
Born 1964
(54 years old)
2011 22 January 2012 22 January 2017 5 years, 0 days GERB
Reuven Rivlin March 2018 (8750) (cropped).jpg Rumen Radev
Born 1963
(55 years old)
2016 22 January 2017 Incumbent (mandate expires on 22 January 2022) 1 year, 207 days Independent

Living former heads of state[]

There are three living former Bulgarian Presidents and one living former Tsar of Bulgaria:

Head of State titles[]

State Years Title
Principality of Bulgaria 1879–1908 Prince of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Bulgaria 1908–1946 Tsar of Bulgaria
People's Republic of Bulgaria 1946–1947 Chairman of the Provisional
Presidency
1947–1971 Chairman of the Presidium
of the National Assembly
1971–1990 Chairman of the State
Council
1990 Chairman (President) of
the Republic
Republic of Bulgaria 1990–1992
1992–present President of the Republic

See also[]

Notes[]

External links[]