Mihail Mikov Elected Chair of Bulgarian Socialist Party
Mihail Mikov has been elected Chair of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).
Mikov won a run-off with outgoing Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev at the 48th Congress of BSP on Sunday.
A total of 762 delegates voted in the run-off stage of the election, with Stoynev backed by 333 votes and Mikov by 377. There were 16 invalid ballot papers and 710 valid ballot papers.
Mikov will succeed Sergey Stanishev, who was BSP Chair for 13 years, but announced earlier in Jluy he would vacate the position.
“BSP deserves to be the strongest party in the new 21st century,” Mikov told journalists.
“I would like to thank all of the party members and all supporters who stood by BSP through the tough past 25 years,” the new leader of BSP declared, as cited by Sega daily.
“Together we will achieve results which suit a 120-year-old party,” he announced, adding that Bulgaria had the right to a better future which was not to be determined by politicians enjoying their short-lived fame.
After thanking delegates for having elected him, he warned that "the hardest" is yet to come for the party.
The BSP "deserves to be [Bulgaria's] leading party," Mikov added.
Dragomir Stoynev, who faced Mikov in the run-off and narrowly lost, asserted that all of its members would stand behind the new leader, adding that the socialists' main aim was to work for the "welfare state" the BSP has always promised.
Over the past weeks Stoynev was widely expected to win the election after many had pointed him as Stanishev's most preferred option.
Mikov, however, had repeatedly been described as a strong contender, and his prospects grew after key socialist members reportedly shifted in their predilection, choosing to back Mikov instead of Stoynev.
A delegate explained Mikov's election was a "pragmatic" one, as a "party person" was needed with the looming early general vote in sight.