(AP, AFP, DPA, Sofia Echo, Novinite, BTA, BNR - 27/07/09; Reuters, Mediapool, Novinite - 23/07/09; Official GERB Website; Sofia.bg)
Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov was sworn in as prime minister of Bulgaria on July 27th 2009 following his centre-right party's landslide victory in the Balkan country's July 5th parliamentary elections. He succeeded Sergey Stanishev in the post.
Borisov was born on June 13th 1959 in the small spa town of Bankya, 15km west of Sofia. He graduated from the Higher Specialized School of the Ministry of the Interior in Sofia in 1982, with an engineering degree in Firefighting Equipment and Safety, and a rank of lieutenant.
That same year, Borisov joined the interior ministry, serving first as a platoon commander and then as company commander at the fire department of the ministry's Sofia city directorate. In 1985, he became a lecturer at the interior ministry's Higher Institute for Officer Training and Scientific Research, where he obtained his PhD after defending a thesis on Psycho-Physical Training of the Operational Staff. He left the ministry in 1990.
In September 2001, Borisov was appointed chief secretary of the interior ministry and was promoted to colonel. In 2002, he was promoted to major general and two years later -- to lieutenant general.
He stepped down as chief secretary shortly after a new Socialist-led tripartite coalition government came to power in August 2005 to eventually win the pre-term mayoral election in Sofia in October the same year as an independent candidate. He was re-elected to the post at the regular local government elections in 2007.
Meanwhile, Borisov established his centre-right party, Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), in December 2006, becoming its informal leader. The party won the greatest number of votes in Bulgaria's first European Parliamentary (EP) elections in June 2007 and eventually joined the European People's Party in February 2008.
GERB came out first again in the June 2009 EP elections. The biggest success in the party's less than three-year history came on July 5th 2009, when it won a landslide victory in Bulgaria's parliamentary elections. Borisov's party won 40% of the vote, taking a more than 20% lead over the ruling Socialists, entitling it to 116 of the 240 seats in parliament.
President Georgi Parvanov gave Borisov the mandate to form Bulgaria's new government on July 16th and a week later, the prime minister-designate submitted his proposal for a minority cabinet.
His government was approved by parliament on July 27th, with a 162-77 vote, with one abstention.
Addressing lawmakers ahead of the vote, Borisov named increasing the incomes of Bulgarian citizens, fighting organised crime and corruption, reforming the judiciary and restoring the EU's confidence in the country as top priorities for his government.
Borisov holds a black belt in karate and is an enthusiastic football and tennis player.