'Six Vying' to Head Bulgarian Socialist Party on Sunday

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)'s headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria. FIle photo, BGNES

As many as six candidates will run to take over the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the second-largest party in the country, local media report.

The BSP is to hold a national congress scheduled for May 08, Sunday. 

MP Korneliya Ninova, Krasimir Yankov, a young BSP lawmaker who is though to be influential in the party, and businessman Georgi Gergov who heads its structure in Plovdiv are among this year's contenders challenging the incumbent's office, daily Standart writes, citing party sources. What they have in common is that they also ran in the summer of 2014, when Mikov was elected.

Ninova has already announced she is running.

But two other MPs, Kiril Dobrev and Valeri Zhablyanov, who so far have backed her and the current leader respectively, also intend on running, possibly diverting some of the vote from the two that have been widely pointed as main contenders.

The BSP, which is currently in opposition, has been trying for years to recover from heavy defeats it has suffered in the last dozen elections.

Mihail Mikov, who has headed the party since Sergey Stanishev stepped down in July 2014, has been widely criticized for failing to modernize the party and cleanse its image of an organization with dependencies. Mikov for his part claims he pursues a course of turning the BSP into an authentic leftist party, one that Europe needs to deal with the repercussions of "neoliberalism".

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