UN Top Job: Bulgaria Dropped Bokova Partly 'at Urge of Berlin' - FT

Diplomacy | September 29, 2016, Thursday // 11:17|  views

File photo, EPA/BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov changed his country's nomination for UN Secretary General in part "at the urging of Berlin, which favours Ms [Kristalina] Georgieva," the Financial Times has said.

One of the reasons is that Georgieva "hails from the same centre-right European political family as Chancellor Angela Merkel," FT notes following the replacement of UNESCO head Irina Bokova by Georgieva as Bulgaria's nominee to take over the United Nations.

Mention is made in the text of a reported German lobbying for Georgieva's candidacy in Russia - with Moscow having shown preference for Bokova previously - which sparked an exchange of rhetoric between the two countries. Berlin denied making effort to secure Russian support for Georgieva.

In a story titled "Nudged by Berlin, EU's Georgieva jumps into UN leadership race", FT notes that the change in nomination "was preceded by months of political manoeuvres from Berlin to Moscow, via Sofia".

"I have to do in a week what other candidates have done in a year," Georgieva has told FT and has admitted to facing a tough challenge.

She has said she admires Kofi Annan as a former UN Secretary General, recalling he was also a late entry into the race.

Georgieva has also stated she would never have accepted a nomination from a third country.

Her late appearance in the race, however, has upset "some within the UN", with a UN official being quoted as saying "non-permanent members feel it has undermined a push for transparency" and that "she has skipped the hard stages."

The latter phrase is a reference to informal hearings at the UN and an unprecedented debate at the UN General Assembly earlier this year.

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Tags: Kristalina Georgieva, Irina Bokova, UN Secretary General, Boyko Borisov


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