The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Kornelia Ninova, has failed in her attempt to exclude Party of European Socialists president Sergei Stanishev from the BSP list of candidates for Bulgaria’s May 26 2019 European Parliament elections.
This was the outcome of a meeting of the Bulgarian Socialist Party plenum, that lasted for a marathon 11 hours on April 14.
The length of the meeting was indicative of the indignation at Ninova’s attempt to push Stanishev, a former BSP leader and a former prime minister in a tripartite government involving the BSP which he then led, out into the cold.
Ninova had proposed a list omitting Stanishev and two other sitting BSP MEPs, following months of open tensions between her and Stanishev on issues including the Istanbul Convention.
At the plenum meeting, participants included those who refused to accept the exclusion of Stanishev, who had received broad support from BSP structures.
The list approved by the BSP national council puts Stanishev in a possibly electable fifth place. Ninova’s list had omitted his name altogether.
The list is being topped, at the insistence of Ninova, by former journalist Elena Yoncheva, who the BSP has been stridently seeking to portray as a “corruption-fighting investigative journalist”.
Yoncheva is currently facing charges of large-scale money-laundering. Yoncheva denies the charges, which she sees as politically-motivated.
The list approved by the plenum differs significantly from the one pushed by Ninova. It is:
1. Elena Yoncheva
2. Petar Vitanov
3. Tsvetelina Penkova
4. Ivo Hristov
5. Sergei Stanishev
6. Ivan Krastev
7. Denitsa Zlateva
8. Rumen Gechev
9. Momchil Nekov
10. Velizar Enchev
11. Dimitar Danchev
12. Todor Stoilov
13. Valery Zhablyanov
14. Mariela Modeva
15. Desislav Taskov
16. Krum Donchev
17. Emil Georgiev
In a direct response to criticisms earlier in the day voiced by Stanishev, who likened Ninova’s BSP to Boiko Borissov’s GERB, as becoming a party in the thrall of its leader, Ninova denied the charge.
“The National Council has made its decision, we can win this election and I am sure we will,” Ninova said.
Ninova said that she respected the results of the decision of the national council but emphasised that from now on, the national council will be responsible for the election results.