It's Official: Bulgaria Ex-EU Commissioner Joins Presidential Race

Domestic | June 2, 2011, Thursday // 14:42|  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

Former Bulgarian European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva will officially announce her candidacy for the presidential elections in the fall on Monday, June 6, the initiative committee behind her announced.

According to an official statement, circulated to the media, Kuneva, who was responsible for consumer protection during the first Barroso college, will officially confirm her bid during a lecture she is set to give at the Radisson in Sofia Monday.

At the event, which has been described as a meeting with the public, Kuneva will present her motives for joining the presidential battle, as well as the principles and messages on which she will rely during her campaign.

Over the last couple of months, there have been speculations on whether Kuneva will run or not, with she herself neither formally confirming nor rejecting rumors, but leaving the impression she is seriously considering the option.

Apparently Meglena Kuneva has agreed to run for Bulgaria's president in the autumn despite speculations over her eligibility.

RZS, 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. The party 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.

Kuneva, Bulgaria's chief negotiatior for accession during the cabinet of Simeon Saxe-Coburg (2001-5) is more probably to run as an independent candidate and to seek support from parties, rather than present a party-nominated candidacy.

Simeon Saxe-Coburg, former Bulgarian monarch and founder of the liberal National Movement for Stability and Prosperity, has stated that according to him Kuneva will make for an excellent Bulgarian President.

Daniel Valchev, former Education Minister from the centrist party of Simeon Saxe-Coburg, recently confirmed he is already drumming up support for Kuneva's nomination among her supporters.

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.


MORE about Meglena Kuneva READ HERE

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Tags: Sergey Stanishev, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, Valchev, Daniel, GERB, race, presidential, Tsvetanov, Tsvetan, Election Code, constitution, Bulgarian, Brussels, Bulgaria, Kuneva, Meglena, president, Kristalina, Georgieva, RZS, order, Law and Justice, Yane, Yanev, European Commissioner


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