Bulgaria’s Irina Bokova Drops to 5th Spot in Second Vote for UN Chief

Politics » DIPLOMACY | August 6, 2016, Saturday // 09:44
Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s Irina Bokova Drops to 5th Spot in Second Vote for UN Chief Irina Bokova. File photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Irina Bokova has taken the fifth place in the second round of informal polls held at the UN Security Council in to elect the next Secretary-General of the world organization, newswires have reported citing diplomats.

The 15 members of the Security Council on Friday voted "encourage," "discourage" or "no opinion" for each of the 11 candidates remaining in the race after last month’s first round, in which Bokova took the third place.

Portugal's former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres remained in the lead after the second secret ballot, getting 11 "encourage" votes and two "discourage".

Serbia’s former Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic was second, garnering eight “encourage” and four “discourage”. Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra took the third spot.

Bokova, who is UNESCO Director-General, received seven "encourage" votes and an equal number of "discourage". Slovenia’s former President Danilo Turk also received seven "encourage" votes while there were five “discourage” votes for him.

Former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, who came last in the first ballot, has withdrawn her nomination for the position of United Nations Secretary-General, leaving 11 contenders for the second round of  the race.

By tradition, the post of UN Secretary-General has rotated among regions and Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe have all held the world's top diplomatic post. East European nations, including Russia, argue that they have never had a ecretary-general and it is their turn. There has also never been a woman secretary-general and a group of 56 nations are campaigning for the first female U.N. chief.

The hopes for a woman to become UN Secretary General “appear to be fading”, Reuters noted in its coverage of the results of Friday’s vote. The newswire quoted Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin as saying this week that was because "the people who have spoken so loudly about the need to support a woman have not done that when it came to the actual straw poll."

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Tags: Bulgaria, Irina Bokova, UN, SDecretary-General, straw poll, vote, ballot
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