Security Council big guns decide on new UN chief
THE race to become the next UN chief takes a decisive turn this week when the big powers at the Security Council will for the first time indicate which candidates they are prepared to block.
During the straw poll to pick the new secretary general, Britain, China, France, Russia and the US will use pink ballots to rate the candidates, while the other 10 council members will use white papers.
The results from the pink-coloured ballots of the five veto-holding members will be the ones to watch as the contest to succeed Ban Ki-moon heads into the final stretch.
There are 10 candidates for the top post, including front-runner Antonio Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal who was UN refugee chief for a decade.
Mr Guterres has taken the number one spot in all five previous straw polls, but has received two “discourage” votes, fuelling speculation that one of those may have been cast by a veto power who could block his nomination.
The straw poll will be the first for European budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva after she stormed onto the scene last week as Bulgaria’s new candidate.
Bulgaria had backed UNESCO boss Irina Bokova, but she was ousted after a poor showing in the previous straw polls. –