NADEZHDA MIHAILOVA: I'LL BE THE WINNER IN SOFIA
Nadezhda Mihailova, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), will apply for the Sofia mayor post on behalf of the blue party. Today is the time for me to fulfil my duty to all the people who associated their dreams of a better life with the political and civil energy of UDF, she said at the opening of her campaign.It was exactly one year ago (in issue 36, September 6-13, 2002) when the BANKER weekly informed its readers of Ms. Mihailova's intention to replace the incumbent mayor Stefan Sofiyanski. According to internal sources, the only female candidacy in the capital city that the UDF would back is that of Nadezhda Mihailova. This variant is very probable, the sources reveal. But if such a decision is to be taken, it will happen on the very eve of the elections, the BANKER weekly wrote a year ago. Actually, the paper even guessed the fact that the candidacy would be kept secret and would only be made public in the last minute. Later, Ms. Mihailova did her best to refute the news. Being a leader of the UDF, she said she could apply for a prime-minister or a president. However, events proved the BANKER weekly was the one to tell the truth.The candidacy of Ms. Mihailova satisfies all circles in the blue party. The members of the Sofia organisation are glad that it would raise the morale of the campaign and improve the chances for success. The blue leader Hristo Hristov said a day before the nomination that Ms. Mihailova's candidature would be the only worthy move at the moment. Maria Stoyanova, MP from Sofia, said that this move will make the campaign national and the whole party will profit by it. This view is also shared by Evdokia Maneva, head of the UDF Sofia chapter. Last winter she expressed hope that Nadezhda Mihailova would prove herself sufficiently ambitious and brave to take this risk.Undoubtfully, the news will also delight the people around Ivan Kostov and Ekaterina Mihailova. Rumours in the blue lobby spread that Nadezhda Mihailova and Ivan Kostov have been the only ones to know for sure which name would be announced at the official press conference on September 4, when the blue candidate-mayor would be presented. If Nadezhda Mihailova wins the election and becomes mayor of Sofia, the leader's post in the UDF will be vacant again. And this is what those around Ivan Kostov are waiting for. While Ms. Mihailova headed UDF they cleared the party of all inconvenient members. Now they have all the chances to succeed.