After today’s surprise decision by the Bulgarian government  to nominate European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva as candidate for the United Nations Secretary-General post, the Chief Spokesperson of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas explained how the Commission will manage to cope with the decision.”

“Today, President Jean-Claude Juncker announced his decision to grant Vice-President Georgieva unpaid leave of absence to allow her to stand as candidate for the United Nations Secretary-General” Schinas said.

European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger was chosen by the Commission to replace Georgieva during her absence.

“Juncker decided that Commissioner Oettinger will be temporarily responsible for the portfolio of Budget and Human Resources”, Schinas added.

“Prime Minister Borisov and Vice-President Georgieva informed the President of the decision of the government of Bulgaria, and he agreed with Ms Giorgievas’ request to take unpaid leave during the month of October”, he said.

“During this period, Kristalina Giogieva and the European Commissions will ensure a strict separation of the activities related to her candidacy and her work as member of the Commission” Schinas concluded.

The nomination of Georgieva, deputy president of the European Commission responsible for EU’s budget, increases the chances of a Bulgarian taking over at the head of the UN, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov told a government meeting last week.

The decision came Wednesday, two days after the Bulgarian UNESCO chief, Irina Bokova, was in sixth place in the Security Council’s latest informal poll, which caused the Bulgarian government to stop backing Bokova’s candidacy.

The next informal ballot at the United Nations will take place on October 5, where the five veto-wielding powers could be indicating whom they intend to veto ahead of the final election.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister of Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva,  declared to the Portuguese News Agency TSF that he does not think that “Giorgieva’s candicacy would be an obstacle for the former Prime Minister Antonio Gutierres“, who so far is leading the UN poll as top candidate.