Simeon II, Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski, or Simeon Borisov Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 1937–, czar (1943–46) and premier (2001–5) of Bulgaria. He succeeded his father, Boris III, under a regency. After the occupation (1944) of Bulgaria by Russian forces he remained nominal ruler under a new council of regents. In 1946 a plebiscite abolished the monarchy, and Simeon went into exile in Spain. He visited Bulgaria several times after 1996. Returning home in Apr., 2001, he founded a political party that won half the parliamentary seats in June, 2001, and he became Bulgaria's premier. As premier he has instituted economic reforms and worked to secure Bulgaria's admission into NATO and the European Union. Losses in the 2005 elections forced his resignation and led his party to become a junior partner in a coalition with the Socialists; he resigned as party leader in 2009 after the party failed to win any parliamentary seats.