Bulgaria Ex Commissioner Firm over Presidency Bid - ReportDomestic | May 7, 2011, Saturday // 18:29| views
A woman walks past an election campaign poster of EU consumer affairs commissioner Meglena Kuneva, candidate of National Movement for Stability and Prosperity party in Sofia, Bulgaria on 05 June 2009. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Meglena Kuneva, former EU Commissioner for consumer protection, has already agreed to run for Bulgaria's president in the autumn despite speculations over her eligibility, insiders say.
"Kuneva's candidature for the presidential elections is expected to be officially announced by the end of this month," 24 hours daily reported, citing anonymous sources close to her.
Daniel Valchev, former Education Minister from the centrist party of Simeon Saxe-Coburg, has confirmed he is already drumming up support for Kuneva's nomination among her supporters.
"This will be neither a party, nor a movement. If Kuneva joins the battle for the presidential office, her supporters will have to be activated to work for her," Valchev, who will apparently be Kuneva's right hand during her pre-election campaign, told the daily.
Meanwhile a small opposition party with links to shady figures from Bulgaria's transition recently renewed its efforts to prevent the country's former and current European Commissioners from running for president.
Kristalina Georgieva, the EU's humanitarian aid commissioner, and Meglena Kuneva, former commissioner for consumer protection, are not eligible to run for president, argues the conservative Order, Law and Justice (RZS).
RZS cites the Bulgarian Constitution, which requires that candidates for president are eligible only if they have lived in the country in the last five years.
According to the most recent poll conducted by Sofia-based Center for Analyses and Marketing 12.7% of the surveyed citizens said they fancied Kuneva as President, which makes her the third most popular option.
Kuneva also has high chances to be supported by the previously ruling Socialist Party. The proposal, believed to have been enthusiastically embraced and promoted by leader and former Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, however is vehemently opposed by the more conservative members of the party, who say voters do not associate Kuneva with left-wing ideas.
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