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 1948–1990. From 1948 onwards, the General Secretary was the country's de facto chief executive.

Principality of Bulgaria (1878–1908)

Prince Reign Claim
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
House Reign start Reign end Duration
Alexander I
1857–1893
(Lived: 36 years)
Battenberg 29 April 1879 7 September 1886
(Abdicated)
7 years, 131 days Elected by the First Grand National Assembly
Ferdinand I
1861–1948
(Lived: 87 years)
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry 7 July 1887 5 October 1908 21 years, 90 days Elected by the Third Grand National Assembly

Kingdom of Bulgaria (1908–1946)

  Denotes Regent
Tsar Reign Claim
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
House Reign start Reign end Duration
Ferdinand I
1861–1948
(Lived: 87 years)
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry 5 October 1908 3 October 1918
(Abdicated)
9 years, 363 days Proclaimed himself as Tsar
Boris III
1894–1943
(Lived: 49 years)
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry 3 October 1918 28 August 1943
(Died)
24 years, 329 days Son of Ferdinand I
Simeon II
Born 1937
(84 years old)
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry 28 August 1943 15 September 1946
(Monarchy abolished)
3 years, 18 days Son of Boris III
Kiril, Prince of Preslav
1895–1945
(Lived: 49 years)
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry 28 August 1943 9 September 1944
(Deposed)
1 year, 12 days First Regency Council
For Simeon II
Bogdan Filov
1883–1945
(Lived: 61 years)
Lt. General
Nikola Mikhov
1891–1945
(Lived: 53 years)
Todor Pavlov
1890–1977
(Lived: 87 years)
9 September 1944 15 September 1946
(Monarchy abolished)
2 years, 6 days Second Regency Council
For Simeon II
Venelin Ganev
1880–1966
(Lived: 86 years)
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
(Birth–Death)
Election Took office Left office
Chairman of the Provisional Presidency
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
Mincho Neychev
1887–1956
(Lived: 69 years)
9 December 1947 27 May 1950 2 years, 169 days BCP
Georgi Damyanov
1892–1958
(Lived: 66 years)
27 May 1950 27 November 1958† 8 years, 184 days BCP
Georgi Kulishev
1885–1974
(Lived: 89 years)
27 November 1958 30 November 1958 3 days BCP
Nikolay Georgiev
1906–1988
(Lived: 81 years)
BANU
Dimitar Ganev
1898–1964
(Lived: 65 years)
30 November 1958 20 April 1964† 5 years, 142 days BCP
Georgi Kulishev
1885–1974
(Lived: 89 years)
20 April 1964 23 April 1964 3 days BCP
Nikolay Georgiev
1906–1988
(Lived: 81 years)
BANU
Georgi Traykov
1898–1975
(Lived: 76 years)
23 April 1964 7 July 1971 7 years, 75 days BANU
Chairman of the State Council
Todor Zhivkov
1911–1998
(Lived: 86 years)
7 July 1971 17 November 1989 18 years, 133 days BCP
Petar Mladenov
1936–2000
(Lived: 63 years)
17 November 1989 3 April 1990 137 days BCP
Chairman (President) of the Republic
Petar Mladenov
1936–2000
(Lived: 63 years)
(Apr) 1990 3 April 1990 6 July 1990 94 days BSP
Stanko Todorov
1920–1996
(Lived: 76 years)
6 July 1990 17 July 1990 11 days BSP
Nikolai Todorov
1921–2003
(Lived: 82 years)
17 July 1990 1 August 1990 15 days BSP
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 (1948–1990)

General Secretary Term of office Notes
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Took office Left office Duration
Georgi Dimitrov
1882–1949
(Lived: 67 years)
27 December 1948 2 July 1949 187 days Also Prime Minister (1946–1949)
Valko Chervenkov
1900–1980
(Lived: 80 years)
2 July 1949 4 March 1954 4 years, 245 days Also Prime Minister (1950–1956)
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
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)

List of Presidents of Bulgaria

Party legend

  Bulgarian Socialist Party (1)   Independent (1)   Union of Democratic Forces (2)   GERB (1)

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office / mandates Prime Ministers Previous post Political alliance
Petar Mladenov
Петър Тошев Младенов
1936–2000
(Lived: 63 years)
3 April
1990
6 July
1990
Andrey Lukanov (1990) Chairman of the State Council of Bulgaria (1989-1990) Bulgarian Socialist Party
Stanko Todorov
Станко Тодоров Георгиев
1920–1996
(Lived: 76 years)
6 July
1990
17 July
1990
Andrey Lukanov (1990) Chairperson of the National Assembly (1981-1990) Bulgarian Socialist Party
acting as
Chairperson of the National Assembly
Nikolai Todorov
Николай Тодоров Тодоров
1921–2003
(Lived: 82 years)
17 July
1990
1 August
1990
Andrey Lukanov (1990) Chairperson of the National Assembly (1990) Independent
acting as
Chairperson of the National Assembly
1
Zhelyu Zhelev
Желю Митев Желев
1935–2015
(Lived: 79 years)
1 August
1990
22 January
1997
Andrey Lukanov (1990)
Dimitar Popov (1990-1991)
Philip Dimitrov (1991–1992)
Lyuben Berov (1992–1994)
Reneta Indzhova (1994–1995)
Zhan Videnov (1995-1997)
Chairman of the Union of Democratic Forces (1989-1990) Union of Democratic Forces
1992 – 52.8%, 2,738,436
2
Petar Stoyanov
Петър Стефанов Стоянов
Born 1952
(69 years old)
22 January
1997
22 January
2002
Zhan Videnov (1997)
Stefan Sofiyanski (1997)
Ivan Kostov (1997–2001)
Simeon Sakskoburggotski (2001-2002)
Vice Chairman of the Union of Democratic Forces (1995-1996) Union of Democratic Forces
1996 – 59.7%, 2,502,517
3
Georgi Parvanov
Георги Седефчов Първанов
Born 1957
(64 years old)
22 January
2002
22 January
2012
Simeon Sakskoburggotski (2002-2005)
Sergei Stanishev (2005-2009)
Boyko Borisov (2009–2012)
Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (1996-2001) Bulgarian Socialist Party
2001 – 54.1%, 2,043,443

2006 – 75.9%, 2,050,488

4
Rosen Plevneliev
Росен Асенов Плевнелиев
Born 1964
(57 years old)
22 January
2012
22 January
2017
Boyko Borisov (2012-2013)
Marin Raykov (2013)
Plamen Oresharski (2013–2014)
Georgi Bliznashki (2014)
Boyko Borisov (2014–2017)
Minister of Regional Development and Public Works (2009-2011) GERB
2011 – 52.6%, 1,698,136
5
Rumen Radev
Румен Георгиев Радев
Born 1963
(58 years old)
22 January
2017
Incumbent Boyko Borisov (2017)
Ognyan Gerdzhikov (2017)
Boyko Borisov (2017–2021)
Stefan Yanev (2021)
Bulgarian Air Force commander (2014-2016) Independent
2016 – 59.4%, 2,049,260

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