Bulgarian President Plevneliev: Battle for UN Secretary-General post ‘unpredictable’

Bulgaria’s battle for the post of United Nations Secretary-General is extremely difficult and currently unpredictable, President Rossen Plevneliev said in New York at a meeting with the Bulgarian community.

Plevneliev is in New York for the opening session of the UN General Assembly, which he is due to address on September 22, four days before the UN Security Council holds its fifth “straw poll” on the candidates to head the world body.

He was speaking close to a week after Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that, in spite of media reports, Irina Bokova remained Bulgaria’s candidate. However, Borissov said, if Bokova did not win one of the top two places in the straw poll on September 26, his government would reconsider the question.

Within Bulgaria and elsewhere in Europe, there is significant backing for replacing Bokova with Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian vice-president of the European Commission, or possibly nominating Georgieva, in the name of countries other than Bulgaria, as an alternative candidate.

Bokova has done poorly in the first four straw polls, gaining at best a joint third position. In the most recent vote, she placed fifth.

Plevneliev told the Bulgarian community in New York that Bulgaria had a “worthy candidate” and was supporting that candidate in this race.

On September 16, in an interview with public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television, Plevneliev – asked about the Bulgarian candidacy for the UN job – said that it was up to the Bulgarian government to decide on the candidate.

“The Bulgarian government has said very clearly who the candidate is, and the entire Bulgarian candidate is standing behind (that candidate) and working for (the candidate),” Plevneliev said.

He said that Bokova was the Bulgarian candidate. “The government has its candidate, and I am working with that candidate. As head of state, I will work to the very last second with the Bulgarian candidate for the UN,” Plevneliev said.

(Photo: UN Photo/Cia Pak)



Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via amazon.com, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.