Bulgaria’s socialist, splinter party leaders agree to nominate former air force chief for president

Leaders of the left-wing opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and splinter socialist minority party ABC have agreed on August 10 to put forward former Air Force chief, General Roumen Radev, as their joint nominee for the November 6 presidential elections.

The announcement was made by BSP leader Kornelia Ninova and ABC leader Georgi Purvanov at a joint news conference following two-hour talks, Bulgarian National Television reported. The formal endorsement will come from the extended leadership bodies of the two parties, which are expected to meet separately in the near future.

Radev’s nomination comes on the same day that the country’s Cabinet made the official recommendation to head of state President Rossen Plevneliev to approve Radev’s resignation, tendered last week. In a statement later in the day, the presidency said that Plevneliev signed the decree accepting Radev’s resignation and sent it back to the Cabinet to be co-signed by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov. The formal order releasing Radev from active duty is to be issued by the Defence Ministry.

Ninova said that the BSP national council will discuss all eight potential nominees, provided that there are no procedural obstacles – a day earlier, she said that Radev and ombudsman Maya Manolova could not be formally nominated while they still held their respective positions, under Bulgarian laws.

“After discussing the names [at the meeting with ABC] today, we are approaching to one possible joint nomination, that of General Roumen Radev,” Ninova told reporters.

Purvanov, a former BSP leader and two-term president who set up ABC after a failed bid to win back the BSP leadership in 2013, said that he was confident that Radev was “a strong, persuasive nomination that has all the chances to win the forthcoming presidential elections”.

On the topic of a vice-presidential nominee, Ninova said that the BSP and ABC leaders agreed that any future discussion on the topic had to include the presidential nominee as well.

(Screenshot of Roumen Radev from Bulgarian National Television)



The Sofia Globe staff

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