RIGA - Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga told the British weekly The Observer that she had withdrawn her candidacy for the U.N. secretary-general because of "the apparently immutable diplomatic law that only a man from the right continent may fill the role."
Vike-Freiberga said that it appeared it was not time for a woman to take the top position in the U.N..
"I hope my candidacy will make it easier," she said, adding that "whether it will take another 60 years or 600 years, I have no way of knowing."
The Latvian president was nominated to the position by the three Baltic states, even though, following the unwritten principle of geographic rotation, the next U.N. secretary general should come from Asia.
In two informal polls by the U.N. Security Council, she ended in third place. During last the poll, her candidacy was vetoed by two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, presumably Russia and China. Vike-Freiberga withdrew her candidacy, along with other unsuccessful candidates.
South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon received the largest number of votes in all polls, and the U.N. Security Council is expected to propose his candidacy for approval to the U.N. General Assembly.
All other candidates for the position were men from Asia.