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South Korea's Ban still ahead in U.N. leader race

clock03-29-2010, 12:37 AM
Yorum: #1
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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon retained his lead in an informal Security Council poll for U.N. secretary-general on Thursday, the only candidate to get a large majority.

Ban received 13 votes in favor, one against and one "no opinion," one less favorable vote than in the last poll on September 14, diplomats reported.

But Ban was comfortably ahead of six opponents in the contest to succeed Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian, who ends 10 years in office on December 31. The vote was unofficial but gives an indication of future results.

A candidate is required to get at least nine positive votes and no veto in the official vote expected by mid-October. The council's selection must be confirmed by the 192-member U.N. General Assembly.

In the arcane procedure of the informal polls, it was not known how the five veto-bearing members of the council voted. A "no" vote from the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China could still doom Ban's candidacy, although it appears unlikely.

"I think the Korean is the leader and he is leading comfortably," said Argentina's U.N. ambassador, Cesar Mayoral. "The problem comes if the 'no' is from a permanent member."

The more telling poll will be held on Monday, when ballots will be distinguished among the five permanent members with veto power and the other 10 elected nations that serve for two-year terms.

Japan's U.N. Ambassador, Kenzo Oshima, told reporters, "My own view is if the trend holds by Monday, the situation will be much clearer."

The 15 Security Council ambassadors voted among seven candidates vying for the job.

Council members marked ballots to "encourage, discourage or express no opinion" as in two previous informal polls. Each member could vote for more than one candidate.

Shashi Tharoor, an Indian novelist and the U.N. undersecretary-general for public information, was again in second place but dropped to eight encouragements on Thursday, from 10 earlier this month. He received three negatives and two no opinions.

He was followed by Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the only non-Asian and woman in the race, who received seven encouragements, six discouragements and two no opinions.

According to an unwritten rules, the next U.N. secretary-general is to come from Asia.

Thailand's deputy prime minister, Surakiart Sathirathai, received five favorable votes. Other candidates were Jordan's U.N. ambassador, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein; Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka, a former U.N. undersecretary-general for disarmament, and Ashraf Ghani, a former Afghan finance minister.
clock07-07-2012, 05:56 PM
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