Bulgarian Socialists pick former air force commander as presidential candidate

Bulgarian Socialists pick former air force commander as presidential candidate
By bne IntelliNews August 18, 2016

Bulgaria’s biggest opposition party, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), has nominated General Rumen Radev (53) as its candidate for the November presidential election, the party said in an August 17 statement.

One likely reason for Radev’s nomination could be that the army has a relatively good image and rating compared to other institutions. He is acceptable to both the BSP and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV), and the fact that he is new to politics is likely to be an advantage in the current political climate in Bulgaria. The general briefly attracted media attention last year, when he submitted his resignation amid worries about the poor condition of the combat aviation, and after that withdrew it. Another factor supporting his fairly unconventional nomination is that BSP has a relatively disciplined electorate.

On August 1, Radev resigned as commander of the country’s air force, citing disagreement with a proposed concept for paid “air policing” of Bulgaria’s air space jointly with Nato allies. This led to speculation he could become the BSP’s candidate for the presidency, although the day before his nomination, Radev said that he was not a political figure.

The nomination of Radev was supported by 99 people out of 151 present at BSP’s plenum. He will also be supported by the smaller left-wing ABV, which left the government in May. The general said that the talks about the vice presidential candidate are yet to be held.

Last month, the Bulgarian parliament scheduled the presidential elections for November 6. On May 20, incumbent President Rosen Plevneliev announced that he would not seek a second five-year term this autumn. He said he made the decision for personal reasons, most likely linked to a family tragedy in August 2015.

The ruling centre-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) is expected to announce its presidential candidate in September. GERB is the most popular party by a large margin.

There has been much media speculation about the party’s candidate. One recent rumour suggested that GERB’s presidential candidate could be party founder and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, although he denied this on August 12. Even more recently, another rumour suggested that GERB’s candidate will be European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, though she also denied plans to stand on August 18.

While the party’s choice of candidate is still unclear, GERB has already launched its slogan for the presidential election campaign – “We work in the interest of citizens”.

Besides the BSP/ABV candidate, the other known nomination from the parties represented in the parliament is Krassimir Karakachanov, leader of VMRO, one of the two parties in the nationalist Patriotic Front, which usually supports the government. Karakachanov’s vice presidential candidate is Yavor Notev from the opposition nationalist party Ataka.

Another presidential candidate is Bulgarian politician George Ganchev (76), who is not backed by any of the parliamentary parties. He has run unsuccessfully in three presidential elections so far. The last time was in 2001 when he took just 3.4% of the vote. Businessman Vesselin Mareshki may also run for president.

 

Related Articles

RBI doubles net profit y/y in Q1 as Russian business recovers

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), the second largest bank operating across Central and Eastern Europe by assets, reported that net profit almost doubled year-on-year to €220mn in the first ... more

Bulgarian prosecutors charge former foreign minister in procurement case

Bulgaria's specialised anti-corruption unit has charged former Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov with violating the laws on public finance and public procurement, ... more

Bulgaria’s antitrust regulator allows BAT’s €100mn acquisition of Bulgartabac assets

The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) has allowed the €100mn acquisition of assets of Bulgaria’s Bulgartabac Holding by British American Tobacco (BAT), a notice on CPC’s website ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss