GERB Presidential Candidate 'Has Strong Ties to Party'
The deputy head of Bulgaria's main ruling party GERB has said its nominee for the forthcoming presidential elections is a member of the party and has "strong ties" to it.
Tsvetan Tsvetanov has asserted the choice was made following extensive debate and an initial shortlisting of a number of potential nominees.
However, the names of the President and Vice President nominees will be announced in September out of "strategic concerns," Focus Radio quotes him as telling party officials while in the Black Sea city of Varna.
Bulgaria is to hold presidential elections in the autumn, possibly the end of October.
No major party has announced a candidate so far, fueling speculation whether the race will turn into a battle between Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (who has dismissed the prospect) and former President Georgi Parvanov. Incumbent Rosen Plevneliev said in May he would not run for another term.
But Tsvetanov has said the government "currently needs tranquility in order to focus on long-standing problems of the country and their solutions," instead of prompting "attacks on behalf of political opponents."
Tsvetanov, also a former Interior Minister, is known as the driving force of local structures of GERB, which dominates Bulgaria's governing coalition, and is considered to have an essential role in mobilizing support in elections.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic, but the President has some leverage over governance, wielding veto powers and being able to refer to the constitutional court.
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