Kristalina Georgieva, an EU commissioner, has been nominated by her native Bulgaria as a candidate to become the next UN Secretary General.
The Bulgarian government has withdrawn its support for its original pick: Irina Bokova, who heads the UN’s cultural agency, UNESCO.
It is widely expected that a candidate from eastern Europe will be picked to lead the global organisation.
The current holder of the post, Ban Ki Moon of South Korea, steps down at the end of the year.
He served two five-year terms
A secret UN Security Council ballot on Monday placed ex-Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres as the frontrunner.
He also served as the head of the UN refugee agency until last year.