|40th Prime Minister of Bulgaria|
3 February 1990 – 7 December 1990
|Preceded by||Georgi Atanasov|
|Succeeded by||Dimitar Popov|
|Born||26 September 1938
|Died||2 October 1996
|Political party||Bulgarian Socialist Party(1990-1996)
Bulgarian Communist Party (1963-1990)
Lukanov was born in Moscow, USSR, in the family of Karlo Lukanov, (1897-1982), a Bulgarian communist émigré. Lukanov's family moved back to Bulgaria after the communist takeover of 1944 when Lukanov was only 6 years old. His father became an important figure in the party and served as foreign minister of Bulgaria from 1956 to 1961.
Andrey became a member of the party in 1963 and began a career in the foreign service. He helped represent Bulgaria in the United Nations and Comecon. He rose through the ranks of the foreign service to become minister of foreign economic affairs in 1987. He resigned from this position in 1989 and took part in the overthrow of longtime leader Todor Zhivkov. Lukanov became a leading member of the reformist wing of the communist party, and served as Bulgaria's last communist prime minister, from February 3, 1990 to December 7, 1990. He oversaw the first democratic elections in Bulgaria since 1931 in June. His party won and was able to continue to govern. He offered to form a coalition with the opposition but they repeatedly rejected his offers, arguing that the former Communist Party must shoulder responsibility for past political crimes and the rapidly deteriorating economy. His years in office were marked by corruption, huge consumer goods deficit, and civil unrest. Finally in December, after large demonstrations and a general strike, Lukanov resigned, allowing a technocratic government to be formed by Dimitar Popov.
Lukanov was charged with embezzlement in 1992 and arrested, but charges were soon dropped. During his time in the foreign service, Lukanov had gained connections with western businessmen such as Robert Maxwell and engaged in controversial business dealings. He is also sometimes held responsible for Bulgaria's foreign debt.[who?]
Lukanov remained an active political participant in the Bulgarian Socialist Party until his death. In 1995, he began criticizing various members whom he believed were not reformist enough and or had Stalinist tendencies.
A Bulgarian building contractor - Angel Vassilev - close to the Socialist government at the time was arrested and charged with organizing Lukanov's murder. After a long trial and at first a conviction the appeals court declared all the defendants innocent.
Public rumors had been present for months before that an assassination of Lukanov was being planned.
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- Randall W. Stone, Lending Credibility: The International Monetary Fund and the Post-Communist Transition, Princeton University Press, 2002, p. 210
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