Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Date of birth: May 5, 1966
Assumed power on: Aug. 17, 2005
How he got to the top: He politicked his way to the top of his party.
After earning a Ph.D. in history, he worked as a journalist, covering foreign policy. He became a foreign-policy advisor for the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) in 1995 and was elected to Bulgaria’s National Assembly in 2001. Later that year, he became the BSP’s chairman. In June 2005, the BSP won the largest number of seats in parliament, and after two months of deadlock, the National Assembly voted him prime minister. A relative youngster, he has shown off his wild side: Referring to his longtime live-in girlfriend Elena Yoncheva, he arrived at a 2002 BSP event on a motorcycle with a sign on his back that said, “If you are reading this, Elena must have fallen off on the way.”