Ex President Parvanov Quits Bulgarian Socialists' Leadership Race
Former Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has dropped from the race to head the Bulgarian Socialist Party, paving the way for the reelection of incumbent chair and ex PM Sergey Stanishev.
Parvanov quit the race late Saturday night, before the some 800 delegates at the 48th Congress of the BSP cast their votes for a party leader.
For months, he and his former prot?g? Sergey Stanishev were locked in a leadership battle, with Parvanov, who was the President of Bulgaria in 2002-2012, hoping to regain the chairmanship of the Socialists that he held in 1997-2002.
Parvanov exited the race at about 8 pm on Saturday, before the final vote, in his own words, "to preserve the unity of the party", a motion that was met with applause in the Congress hall, the Focus agency reported.
Parvanov's statements throughout the Congress on Saturday were booed several times by the BPS delegates. A number of other candidates remain attempting to win the chairmanship of the largest Bulgarian opposition party but Stanishev – the chairman since 2002 and Prime Minister of Bulgaria in 2005-2009 – is believed to be the favorite.
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