The Economist: UN Secretary-General Nomination Stirs Political Tensions in Bulgaria

Views on BG | January 27, 2016, Wednesday // 10:49|  views

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova (L) and European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva (R). File photo

In a recent article, the Economist focuses on the Bulgarian nomination for UN Secretary-General, which has stirred political tensions in the country.

The presence of two strong Bulgarian candidates, namely UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, has caused political turbulence in the country.

Bokova and Georgieva are identified as the two leading candidates from Eastern Europe, with each of them having good chances to be selected to the position, putting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov under pressure to decide on the nomination.

The Economist notes that Borisov is close to Georgieva and would prefer to keep her as an ally in Brussels, but might nevertheless decide to nominate her.

Bokova is supported by the socialist opposition and the left-wing Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV) party which backs the coalition government.

Recently, former Bulgarian President and leader of ABV Georgi Parvanov threatened to withdraw his party's support for the government if Bokova is not nominated.

Bokova used to have US support, but lost it after she sought the support of Washington to accept the Palestinian Authority as a member of UNESCO in 2011 and is now seen as the preferred candidate of Russia.

Recently, Georgieva presented an ambitious new plan for humanitarian aid funding in her capacity as co-chairperson of a high-level panel appointed by Ban Ki-moon, which hints that she is the preferred choice of the incumbent Secretary-General.

The new secretary-general will be selected by the UN Security Council, which means that the candidates have to attract the backing of Russia and the US.

They will have to win both the nomination of their government and at the same time to attract international support.

The article also assesses the chances of other candidates from Eastern Europe, such as outgoing Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, former president of Slovenia Danilo Turk, foreign minister of Montenegro Igor Luksic, former foreign minister of Macedonia Srgjan Kerim.

However they are identified as second rank candidates who are hoping that the two Bulgarian candidates will cancel each other out.

Among the other Eastern European candidates two are identified as having a fair chance if the Bulgarians fail, namely former Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic and foreign minister of Slovakia Miroslav Lajcak.

The full article is available here.


Tags: Bulgaria, UN, Secretary-General, UNESCO, European Commission, Irina Bokova, Kristalina Georgieva, Ban Ki-moon, Boyko Borisov

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