In a move that will undoubtedly delay the coming into force of the new European Commission, under-fire Commissioner-designate, the Bulgarian Rumiana Jeleva
has withdrawn her candidacy.
The news was announced by the EPP Chairman Joseph Daul
this morning at a press conference in Strasbourg and will come as a blow to him personally as he had strongly defended Mrs Jeleva and had previously appointed her a vice-chair of the political group.
It is understood that she has also
stepped down from her position as Foreign Minister in her home country.
Bulgaria will now have to propose a new candidate, who will then have to undergo a hearing at the European Parliament.
It is not expected therefore that Parliament will give its consent via a vote until at least the February sitting in Strasbourg.UPDATE (11.50GMT): The Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov has now nominated Kristalina Georgieva, vice-president of the World Bank, to replace Mrs Jeleva.
According to Marjory van den Broeke, head of the Parliament's Press Unit, "the vote by Parliament on Commission can now not take place on 26 January