Bulgaria Ex Commissioner Bid for Presidency Confirmed

Bulgaria Ex Commissioner Bid for Presidency Confirmed

Meglena Kuneva, former EU Commissioner for consumer protection, will run for Bulgaria's president in the autumn despite speculations over her eligibility, an ally has confirmed.

"Meglena Kuneva will join the race for the presidency in the autumn and she has all the qualities needed to win," Daniel Valchev, former Education Minister from the centrist party of Simeon Saxe-Coburg, told the morning broadcast of TV7 on Tuesday.

Valchev said he will play an active role in Kuneva's pre-election campaign, adding that her nomination will be non-partisan and backed by a civil association.

The former minister denied reports about plans to run for mayor of the capital Sofia.

The news comes just as a small opposition party with links to shady figures from Bulgaria's transition renewed its efforts to prevent the country's former and current European Commissioners from running for president.

Kristalina Georgieva, the EU's humanitarian aid commissioner, and Meglena Kuneva, former commissioner for consumer protection, are not eligible to run for president, argues the conservative Order, Law and Justice (RZS).

RZS cites the Bulgarian Constitution, which requires that candidates for president are eligible only if they have lived in the country in the last five years.

According to the most recent poll conducted by Sofia-based Center for Analyses and Marketing 12.7% of the surveyed citizens said they fancied Kuneva as President, which makes her the third most popular option.

Kuneva also has high chances to be supported by the previously ruling Socialist Party. The proposal, believed to have been enthusiastically embraced and promoted by leader and former Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, however is vehemently opposed by the more conservative members of the party, who say voters do not associate Kuneva with left-wing ideas. /Source: Sofia News Agency/

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