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Latvian President satisfied over support to her candidacy for UN head

  • 2006-09-29
  • By TBT staff
RIGA 's South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon on Thursday won a third informal straw poll in the United Nations Security Council to decide who will succeed Kofi Annan as U.N. secretary - general

However, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga is satisfied with the high position she won in the UN Security Council's informal poll on the next UN secretary-general, the presidential press service reported.

The Latvian president ranked third in the poll behind South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon and UN Vice-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor from India. In all, Vike-Freiberga received seven votes in the poll.
The president has voiced satisfaction over support to her candidacy and thanked all her backers both from Eastern Europe and outside the region who had found her argumentation convincing.

The Latvian president has expressed special gratitude to Lithuanian and Estonian leaders, as well as the Latvian government for the solidarity shown by the Baltic states and the joint declaration of principles necessary in the UN's work.
Non-governmental organization www.unsg.org that closely follows the process of choosing the next UN head said after the latest poll that the Latvian president has achieved a surprise victory.

"It was Latvia's President Vaira Vike-Freiberga that achieved the surprise victory, pushing past the other challengers to secure an impressive if not solid third place standing. On top of being the only non-Asian in the race, this was an outstanding showing for a candidate that entered the race less than two weeks ago," the organization said.

The next indicative vote on the candidates for the top post in the UN is due to be held next Monday [Oct. 2].
The UN Security Council held the third informal poll on the next UN secretary-general, and just like in the previous ballots, South Korean candidate Ban received the highest number of votes, while Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the only woman among the seven candidates, took third position.

Thursday's poll was the first informal survey after Vike-Freibergass nomination for the post. Tharoor finished second in all three polls, but Vike-Freiberga pushed former Thai deputy prime minister Surakiart Sathiriathay out from the third position in the latest poll.

Other candidates include Jordanian ambassador to the UN, Prince Zeid al-Husein, Sri Lankan candidate Jayanatha Dhanapala and former Afghan finance minister Ashraf Ghani.

The next UN secretary-general is to be picked by the UN Security Council in October. The UN Security Council permanent members -- China, France, Russia, the UK and the US - will have a decisive role in this decision-making.