The presidential institution is new in Bulgaria's political history.
For the first time it was formed by Art. 41 of the Act to Amend and Supplement the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (Official Gazette, No. 29 of 1990), which repealed Chapter V "Council of State" in the 1971 Constitution and created a new Chapter V "Chairman/President of the Republic". During the Round Table (3 January 1990 - 14 May 1990), at which the basic parameters of the democratic transition were agreed, no agreement was reached on how the Head of State should be called, so both names were used simultaneously. The Round Table decided to hold multi-party elections and to convene a Grand National Assembly to draft a new constitution.
On 3 April 1990, the 9th National Assembly elected Petar Mladenov as Chairman/President of the People's Republic of Bulgaria.
On 1 August 1990, the 7th Grand National Assembly elected the leader of the Union of Democratic Forces, Zhelyu Zhelev, as Chairman/President of the country, replacing Petar Mladenov who had stepped down. Gen. Atanas Semerdzhiev was elected Vice President.
On 12 July 1991 the 7th Grand National Assembly adopted the new democratic Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, which stipulated that Bulgaria was a republic with parliamentary government. It stipulates that the President is the Head of State who embodies the unity of the nation and is elected in direct balloting for a term of five years.