Bulgaria PM under fire over UN secretary general failure

Bulgarian opposition parties called Thursday for the prime minister to resign after neither of the country's two candidates running for UN secretary general ended up getting the job. Kornelia Ninova, head of the opposition Socialists, said that Prime Minister Boyko Borisov had "betrayed the national interest". "The failure of the two candidates constitutes the most resounding failure in Bulgarian foreign policy" since communism, said Solomon Passy, a former foreign minister. Bulgaria's initial candidate was Irina Bokova but last week Borisov abruptly dumped the UNESCO head in favour of EU commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. But despite both candidates being eastern Europe and women, seen as two important criteria this time, 13 of the UN Security Council's 15 members backed former Portuguese premier Antonio Guterres on Wednesday. The appointment of Guterres as Ban Ki-moon's replacement from January 1 was expected to be endorsed by the UN Security Council in New York later on Thursday. All three opposition parties called on the centre-right Borisov to resign and the Socialists were expected to table a no-confidence motion. But such a motion is unlikely to succeed. Borisov rejected the calls to quit, instead accusing Bokova of "insolence" for refusing to quit the race even after he had switched his support to Georgieva.