Bulgarian Prime Minister and centre-right GERB party leader Boiko Borissov says that he will stand as a candidate in presidential elections in 2021, but will be sitting out the November 2016 race.
GERB is to announce its candidate in Bulgaria’s November 6 2016 presidential elections on October 2, just a few days before the deadline for registering a candidate.
The party has been playing its cards close to its chest, fuelling speculation that Borissov might be its candidate, while a number of other names have been mentioned in media reports, most denied.
The speculation about Borissov has been fuelled by statements that he has made in recent months not ruling out that he might stand in the November 2016 vote.
In a September 1 television interview, Borissov said: “In the next presidential elections I will be a candidate, but not these, because then I will have aged, whatever I can I shall have given to the executive. I will be a candidate for the sake of the game”.
Borissov again declined to say who GERB’s candidate would be.
In response to a question, he denied that it was disrespectful to voters for GERB to hold off announcing its candidate for so long.
Commenting on the names mentioned as possible GERB presidential candidates – European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova, National Assembly Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva and Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova, Borissov said that all of them were “clever, decent and proven people”.
He said that when the candidate’s name was announced, it would be widely publicised via posters, brochures and memorabilia. From October 2 to November 6, voters would hear the name of GERB’s presidential candidate “ad nauseam”, Borissov said.
On November 6, Bulgarians will be voting to choose a new head of state, because incumbent President Rossen Plevneliev – who took office at the beginning of 2012 after winning a second-round victory on a GERB ticket in 2011 – said in May 2016 that, for personal reasons, he was not standing for a second term of office.