Korneliya Ninova Becomes First Woman to Head Bulgarian Socialist Party
Korneliya Ninova was elected as the new chairperson of the largest opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on Sunday, becoming the first woman to head the party in its history.
Ninova, who is deputy chairperson of BSP’s parliamentary group, defeated incumbent leader Mihail Mikov in a runoff held on the second day of the 49th congress of the party taking place in the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia over the weekend.
According to the official results, 395 delegates voted in favour of Ninova, while 349 cast their ballot in favour of Mikov.
Mikov won the first round of voting, which began an hour before midnight on Saturday. In the first round, 329 of the delegates voted in favour of Mikov, while 280 cast their ballot in favour of Ninova.
Initially, there were 28 candidates for the leadership position, but 23 of them withdrew before the start of voting.
The three other candidates who participated in the first round all backed Ninova in the runoff.
For the first time in the recent history of the party, the incumbent leader is defeated by an opponent in elections. Previous leaders have resigned on their own will.
The new leader called on the party to end the internal strife and to redirect its energy to depose the "inhumane" government of GERB and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Ninova vowed to harden the oppositionist rhetoric to GERB and added that she will work with her predecessor, who resigned as chairperson of the party's parliamentary group.
She was firm that she will not run in the forthcoming presidential elections in the autumn.
By the end of the year, BSP will devise an alternative national plan for taking Bulgaria out of the catastrophic situation the country is currently in.
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