Bulgarian President Plevneliev calls for backing for Georgieva in UN race

Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has called on all Bulgarian politicians to rise above party interests and personal biases to back the Cabinet’s September 28 decision to nominate Kristalina Georgieva instead of Irina Bokova in the race to be the next United Nations Secretary-General.

Plevneliev’s office issued the statement a few hours after the Cabinet switched its support from Bokova to Georgieva, a respected vice-president of the European Commission, against a background of Bokova’s dwindling performance in a succession of UN Security Council votes on the candidates to succeed Ban Ki-moon at the head of the world body.

The President’s comments coincided with a predictable domestic political controversy over the Cabinet decision, which has deeply irked the left-wing socialist opposition.

Plevneliev said that it was within the competence and responsibility of the government to decide on the country’s candidate UN Secretary-General.

The Cabinet had analysed the matters and assessed the chances of the possible Bulgarian candidates, and the President was familiar with this, the statement said. The President agreed with the government’s arguments.

Plevneliev said that following the Cabinet decision, all Bulgarian institutions were obliged to work for the success of the Bulgarian candidate.

The responsibility was huge when Bulgaria had a chance to put forward the next UN Secretary-General. It was also a responsibility towards Central and Eastern Europe.

The President called on all Bulgarian politicians to conduct themselves responsibly towards the Bulgarian candidature, to rise above party interests and personal biases and to become part of the country’s efforts to achieve success in this race.

Plevneliev said that the final decision who will head the organisation will not be taken in Bulgaria but within the UN structures.

“Therefore it is very important not to rush again into a spiral of recriminations and show the world that we can be united and work in one direction,” Plevneliev said.

Nominating a new candidate was not unknown in international practice, he said. “What would be wrong and would harm our country is if we show an inability to unite around a solution important to Bulgaria and Europe,” he said.

(Photo: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard)



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.