Bulgaria's Socialists nominate general to run for president

August 17, 2016 2:15 PM EDT

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SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria's opposition Socialists nominated a former air force chief as presidential election candidate on Wednesday, at a time of rising tensions between the country's Western allies and neighbors Turkey and Russia.

The main opposition party voted to endorse General Rumen Radev, 53, for the largely ceremonial post days after he tendered his resignation as commander of the air force.

"We have a nomination for a candidate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and this is Gen. Rumen Radev," party leader Kornelia Ninova said.

The ruling center-right GERB has yet to endorse its candidate for the Nov. 6 polls in the Balkan country, a member of the European Union and NATO.

Incumbent President Rosen Plevneliev has said he will not seek a new five-year term, after parliament rejected his veto of changes to the electoral code in May.

Most power in the country of 7.2 million rests with the prime minister and parliament, but the president leads the armed forces and can veto legislation and sign international treaties.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has said his GERB party needs to choose a candidate able to deal with a possible rise in migrant inflows from neighboring Turkey and growing tension between Russia and the West.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by Andrew Roche)



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