Bulgaria's PM Nominates Parliament Speaker for President
Bulgarian Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva will be the main ruling party's candidate in the presidential elections, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said.
Vice Admiral Plamen Manushev will be the GERB's candidate for Vice President.
Tsacheva, the first female Parliament Speaker of Bulgaria, will also become the first female President if elected.
"I believe victory will be ours. We will work for the interest of all Bulgarian citizens," Tsacheva said upon the announcement of her candidacy.
"I won't open rifts but will build bridges and will stand up for Bulgaria's national interest," she added.
The names were announced at a party conference in the capital Sofia on Sunday.
They were unveiled after months of speculation who wil be running, with GERB refusing to lift the veil of secrecy until the autumn. Most of the main parties in Bulgaria meanwhile raised their own nominations.
Tsacheva, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev, and the mayors of Sofia and Burgas, Yordanka Fandakova and Dimitar Nikolov, were tipped as possible candidates.
"No-one could guess our presidential pair," Borisov told an audience of party members at the National Palace of Culture.
Borisov made clear it would bring him more benefit to run himself, but that would be tantamount to "political desertion", given the "opportunities and contacts" he has at the moment. Borisov, however, reiterated he would run in the presidential elections that are to come in five years.
Tsacheva, who between 1992 and the mid-2000s pursued a law career, has presided over the National Assembly of Bulgaria two times - in the first cabinet of Boyko Borisov (July 14, 2009 - March 14, 2013) and in the second one (starting October 17, 2014).
She first ran for elections in 2007, when she fought for the Mayor's seat in Pleven, northern Bulgaria, shortly after quitting as a legal counselor to Pleven municipality.
Tsacheva was formerly a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP).
Vice Admiral Plamen Manushev was Deputy Chief of Defense between 2011 and 2012. He has served a the Bulgarian Armed Forces since 1977.
In 2012, he as appointed Deputy Governor of Varna region.
At the elections of 2014, he was elected to Parliament on GERB's ticket.
Recent surveys have shown that despite the uncertainty about the presidential pair's names, a candidate put forward by GERB could win more than half of all votes regardless of the name.
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