- Title: EU gives Georgieva leave to campaign for U.N. chief
- Date: 28th September 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EU COMMISSION BUILDING SCULPTURE OUTSIDE EU COMMISSION EU FLAG
- Embargoed: 13th October 2016 14:27
- Keywords: EU Commission Bulgaria United Nations Kristalina Georgieva Irina Bokova Secretary-General
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM & DOOLOW AREA, SOMALIA
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM & DOOLOW AREA, SOMALIA
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA00151HCYTJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An EU spokesman announced on Wednesday (September 28) that European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Kristalina Georgieva had been given a month's leave of absence as she seeks election for the post of United Nations Secretary-General.
Georgieva, a former World Bank economist, said in a statement she accepts the nomination and plans to present her credentials and vision for the top U.N. job to member states.
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.
On the same day, the Bulgarian government said it was nominating Georgieva and that it was withdrawing support for Sofia's original 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 said it would reconsider its support for Bokova if she did not come first or second in the latest ballot.
Georgieva, 63, 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.
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