Uncertainty about Bulgarian Govt's Decision to Replace UN Top Job Candidate

Politics » DIPLOMACY | September 13, 2016, Tuesday // 08:09
Bulgaria: Uncertainty about Bulgarian Govt's Decision to Replace UN Top Job Candidate EU Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva. File photo, EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's government is to hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, a day ahead of schedule, amid speculation whether it will choose to nominate EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva as its official candidate for UN chief.

Reports about a possible "replacement" of Irina Bokova, the current nominee, emerged over the weekend, with an "extraordinary meeting" of the cabinet mentioned as a possible moment to make the reshuffle this week.

However, the Bulgarian candidacy for the UN Secretary General's office has not been included in the agenda of the cabinet sitting so far. The deicision to hold it on an unusual weekday (Tuesday instead of Wednesday) is linked to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's meeting with Serbian and Bulgarian counterparts in Burgas, by the Black Sea, which will prevent him from attending the meeting if it was scheduled for Wednesday. 

Politico, on the other hand, quotes "soures close to the deliberations" about naming Georgieva instead of Bokova as saying the decision is due on Tuesday morning.

"Five people with knowledge of the process said Georgieva has the support of several EU countries, including Hungary, Poland and Latvia," Politico says.

It also reports the sources as saying that German Chancellor Angela Merkel "canvassed support for a Georgieva candidacy at the G20 summit in China earlier this month."

Earlier, Russia and Germany traded harsh rhetoric amid Moscows assertions that Merkel had tried to approach the Russian leadership on the issue of whether it would back a Bulgarian candidacy other than incumbent Irina Bokova.

Bokova herself came fifth - thus ranking toward the middle - in the last straw poll held on all candidates by United Nations Security Council members.

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Tags: Irina Bokova, Kristalina Georgieva, UN Secretary General

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