- Title: Bulgaria announces new candidate Georgieva for U.N. leadership race
- Date: 28th September 2016
- Summary: SOFIA, BULGARIA (FILE - 2013) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** POLICE AT GATE OF SYRIAN REFUGEE CAMP VARIOUS OF REFUGEES REFUGEE CENTRE IN FORMER SCHOOL BUILDING VARIOUS GEORGIEVA WITH REFUGEES AND RED CROSS BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE) (REUTERS) STATUE OUTSIDE EUROPEAN COMMISSION BUILDING
- Embargoed: 13th October 2016 15:38
- Keywords: Georgieva UN Secretary general elections Bokova Bulgaria
- Location: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- City: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- Country: Bulgaria
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA00351HCBWN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The Bulgarian government said on Wednesday (September 28) it was nominating Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, for the post of United Nations Secretary-General, and that it was withdrawing support for candidate Irina Bokova.
Bokova, director general of U.N. cultural organisation UNESCO, came sixth among nine contenders in a secret ballot at the U.N. Security Council on Monday. The ballot showed former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres is still leading the race to replace Ban Ki-moon.
Sofia had warned it would reconsider its support for Bokova if she did not come first or second in the latest ballot.
Prime Minister Boiko Borisov announced the nomination of Georgieva during a meeting with the cabinet attended by reporters. "We consider that this will be a more successful nomination," he told ministers.
Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov said Bulgaria needed to support a candidate who has a greater chance to become the first Eastern European to lead the global organisation.
"After some consultations it became clear that the Bulgarian government should give a chance to a candidate who has serious chances to boost and strengthen the East European group in the competition for General Secretary of the U.N.," Mitov told reporters.
Mitov said U.N. procedures did not allow for a country to withdraw nominations and that Bokova would have to decide how to proceed.
Bokova was not immediately available for comment but had earlier told a Bulgarian newspaper that she saw no reason to quit the race.
Former Bulgarian president, Georgi Parvanov, commented on the move, calling it a "fiasco".
"I know that there have been mishaps, even defeats, in the history of Bulgarian diplomacy. But a fiasco like this one never happened. This is ridiculous and pathetic."
Georgieva has been given a month's leave by the EU executive while she seeks election, a spokesman said on Wednesday. Guenther Oettinger, the German commissioner who handles digital affairs, will step in for October to cover her portfolio running the EU budget and personnel matters.
Georgieva, 63, a former World Bank economist, has a significant role in the Commission.
The European Union is revising its current seven-year budget, which runs until 2020. It is also gearing up for negotiations on a new seven-year package with the added complication of taking into account Britain's exit from the bloc at a date still unknown.
Monday's secret ballot was the fifth held by the Security Council in this leadership race, and these polls will continue until a consensus is reached. The council will then formally recommend the candidate to the 193-member General Assembly for election.
The next ballot is scheduled for Oct. 5.
Ban steps down at the end of 2016 after serving two five-year terms.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None