Bulgaria's ABV 'Wants Ex-President to Run'
Leftist Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV)'s party structures across the country have nominated President (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov as a presidential candidate in the vote this year, the deputy chair of ABV says.
Parvanov, who also heads the party, has shown "leadership qualities as a party leader, as a man and as a state leader," Rumen Petkov told Darik Radio on Saturday.
The announcement comes after ABV, until then a partner in Bulgaria's government, left the coalition, with Deputy PM and Labor Minister Ivaylo Kalfin resigning. ABV's decision is to be confirmed at a national congress that is being held on Saturday.
Georgi Parvanov, who in 2014 quit the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) to set up ABV, has suggested he might run, but has added he will be waiting for a ruling from the Constitutional Court whether he is allowed to serve for a third term in office. A head of state cannot have more than two consecutive terms, but Parvanov maintains it is not clear whether the restriction applies after a five-year or longer pause.
Kalfin has also gained nominations from party structures across the country, Petkov said, adding he preferred him as a candidate as he might consolidate the left-wing vote.
"We are looking for broad support for a solid and authoritative figure," Petkov added.
He reiterated ABV's move to withdraw from the cabinet was definitive a result from what he described as the government's "failure" in energy and other issues.
No major party has announced yet a candidacy for the presidential election in the autumn, with speculation also looming over whether incumbent Rosen Plevneliev will seek a second term. Both Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's GERB party (which raised Plevneliev's candidacy in 2011) have said they do not intend on announcing their plans before June.
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