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Bulgaria Nominates EU Commissioner Georgieva To Head United Nations

European Union Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva (file photo)

Bulgaria has nominated European Union Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva to be the next United Nations secretary-general in a bid to install the first eastern European in the post.

A prior candidate offered by Bulgaria, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, was considered a strong contender, but she placed sixth in a recent secret poll, prompting a reconsideration. Critics also considered Bokova to be too Russia-friendly.

"We think that [Georgieva's] will be the more successful candidacy," Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on September 28.

Georgieva, 63, is among the European Commission's longest-serving members, and has overseen matters ranging from the budget to international cooperation.

Georgieva will take an unpaid leave of absence from the EU's executive next month to campaign for the top UN post, which is being vacated by Ban Ki-moon at the end of the year.

Georgieva likely will outline her platform at a UN hearing on October 3.

Bulgaria, Russia, and other eastern European nations have argued it is time for their region to get a turn at leading the world body.

By tradition, the job of secretary-general has rotated among regions. Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe have all held the post.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa