Socialist Leader Rules Out Running in Bulgaria's Presidential Vote
Bulgarian opposition leader Korneliya Ninova has said she does not intend to run in the presidential elections scheduled for this autumn.
She has made clear her Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has yet to nominate possible candidates, without ruling out other names.
Her interview for private NOVA TV broadcaster comes after results of an intra-party referendum showed the BSP, Bulgaria's second-largest party and the biggest opposition force, showed its members wish to put forward a joint presidential candidate with left-wing Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV) which splintered off the BSP in 2014.
The referendum ballot did not contain any names, but the announcement of results raised tensions between the BSP and ABV as Ninova ruled out the latter party's leader Georgi Parvanov or deputy head Ivaylo Kalfin could be joint presidential candidates.
Parvanov was the BSP's leader from 1997 to 2002, when he was elected President of Bulgaria (2002-2012) and was expelled after announcing ABV would run in the 2014 EU Parliament elections as a separate party.
Socialists will shortlist nominees at a conference beginning next week, Ninova has added, promising her party would seek to announce a presidential pair by its annual national event at Buzludzha at the end of July.
If not, it would do its best to have a candidate by August 31, she has underlined.
Ninova has made clear the BSP will propose October 23 as a possible date for the vote.
No major party has announced a presidential candidate as of the moment.
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