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Bokova out? Georgieva in for next UN Secretary General


The rumors that have been circulating for the last month have now proven to be true. The Bulgarian government has withdrawn support from Irina Bokova as their candidate for UN Secretary General and replaced her with Kristalina Georgieva, the European commissioner for budget and human resources.

There is some evidence that the right of center parties in European capitals have been behind this with some articles appearing in the last few weeks against Bokova. The Guardian reported on the 26th:
“one of her (Kristalina’s) staff members was hacked and emails purporting to be from one of her top aides were sent out to the rest of her office, instructing them to attack Bokova
There is no question that Kristalina has the cv and record to be a very good UN Secretary General. She is a strong supporter of sustainable development issues she will pick up the SDGs and climate agendas with ease. She is dynamic and very personable and was very active around last week’s UN General Assembly High Level session. Clearly preparing for what was expected to be an announcement this week. There was lobbying by the Russians to support Bokova to strop  Kristalina entering the process. The Bulgarian government had indicated that Bokova had to be in the top three for them to continue their support. She came 6th out of 9 in the 5th straw poll.

It is unclear if Bokova will drop out now.

A clear positive outcome from Kristalina entering the Secretary General process is that you can expect that she will appear in the top three in the next Secretary General poll on 5th of October. This does mean that a woman from the Eastern bloc will be in clear contention.

I’ve argued from the beginning that a woman from the Eastern bloc should be elected on the basis of regional rotation and should be a woman.

So some of the problems for the UK and Germany with Bokova were she was seen to be too pro-Russian or at least you could argue more neutral.


This brings us to the potentially problems with Kristalina’s candidature she is clearly a pro EU candidate and from a right of center political background affiliated to the European Peoples Party at the European level. With the present tension in the Security Council between Russia and the US, UK and France over Syria her candidature may be negatively impacted. Finally a question that I have is why would Russia not veto her as she would ultimately be sen as a WEOG candidate when there are less obviously pro EU candidates left in the face from other Eastern bloc countries. 

On Thursday the 29th September Russia raised questions as Bulgaria presented their 'new' candidate and Objected with Uruguay and Malaysia as she was described as Bulgaria's "sole and unique candidate: and asked for clarification (AFP),

The reality of introducing Kristalina as a candidate, and taking Bokova out if that is what is going to happen, could mean we end up with an Eastern European man. 

Cant wait until the next straw poll on the 5th of October when the P5 will have colored voting cards (red will now signify a veto and that candidate will be out) . 

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