Maya Manolova and Yordanka Fandakova announce Sofia mayoral candidacy, Some systems in the National Revenue Agency not upgraded since 2008, probe finds

  [div class='center_orange']Opinion:[class='center_orange' div] Maya Manolova and Yordanka Fandakova announce Sofia mayoral candidacy Yordanka Fandakova (left), Maya Manolova (right) Maya Manolova announced she will be running for Sofia mayor this week, just hours after the current mayor, Yordanka Fandakova confirmed she will enter the race to seek a fourth term. Both women were the subject of much speculation for months and debated by observers as almost certain candidates. Several weeks ago, a leading Bulgarian pollster published the results from a poll it conducted about voter support split between Manolova and Fandakova, should the two reach a second round of elections. Although the poll received criticism for its methodology, at that point it seemed widely accepted not only that both will enter the campaign for Sofia mayor, but they also would come against each other in a second round of elections. In her three terms as mayor, Fandakova has always won in the first round. Such a scenario seems less and less likely, and explains why part of the campaign efforts on both sides are already aimed at a Manolova-Fandakova race in the second round. Not least of which is the fact that all three candidates to date (beside Fandakova), are running on a platform, which is definitely tailored against Fandakova, and Manolova has already stated publicly that she will count on voters casting their ballot against Fandakova. Maya Manolova, who resigned as national ombudsman to enter the mayoral race, is running as an independent. The largest parliamentary opposition, the Bulgarian Socialist Party will most likely support her. She was a long-time BSP member and MP before taking the office of national ombudsman. Manolova is one of the few politicians, who although heavily associated with BSP, tend to reach supporters outside BSP’s base. This is probably due to her frequently taking an active stance in various public protests or conflicts, like the protest of parents of children with disabilities, which sought to change number of laws concerning people with disabilities. However, she has also made stands that will haunt her campaign: in 2013 during the 400+ days of protests against the government of Plamen Oresharski, she campaigned in favor of the government. Manolova also went public with the claim that the protesters were paid. The unprecedented protests began with the appointment of media mogul Delyan Peevski as head of the State Agency for National Security. This is a serious piece of Manolova’s public history, which a critical part of the electorate will not overcome, regardless of their contempt for Fandakova’s governance. Fandakova has held the office of Sofia mayor for three terms. The last several years – especially – has been very difficult for her mayorship. Recently she and her team showed that this administration, in all its years in office, is still incapable of governing the city well ..

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