Expert Tells DW Bulgaria's Georgieva Is 'Strong Candidate' for UN Top Job

Diplomacy | September 23, 2016, Friday // 12:22|  views

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A security expert has told Deutsche Welle that EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is "rumored to be a strong candidate" to take over as head of the United Nations.

In an interview with DW, Prof Mats Berdal has singled out "Georgieva and also Antonio Guterres from Portugal, who used to run the UNHCR and did a very good job there."

DW has added a photo of Georgieva, with a caption reading: "Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva is a favourite for the next UN chief."

Georgieva is not an official candidate and has said she would only enter the race so long as the Bugarian government nominates her (the latter proposed UNESCO chief Irina Bokova in February).

"It is extremely difficult to predict because it comes down to the politics, and given that the Russians and the Americans are so much at odds over other issues and they will have to agree on an acceptable candidate," Prof Berdal has said when asked who does he think is going to win.

The interview comes a few days before a "decisive" straw poll is held at the United Nations Security Council on the UN Secretary General candidates.

September 26 is also the "deadline" given by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to Irina Bokova to improve her standing in the straw polls, with Bokova having come fifth in the last one.

Earlier in September, after the last poll, reports emerged that a group of Eastern European countries, backed by Germany, intended on raising the candidacy of Georgieva.

Russian then announced it had been approached by German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the question whether Moscow would support a Bulgarian candidacy other than Bokova. Berlin refuted the claim.

Bokova is said to enjoy strong support from Russia, at a time when the latter argues the next UN Secretary General should be both Eastern European and female.

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Tags: Irina Bokova, DW, Kristalina Georgieva, UN Secretary General, straw poll


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