Jeremic receives nine positive votes in informal UNSC poll

According to unofficial and unconfirmed reports, Vuk Jeremic has received nine positive votes in an informal poll held at the 15-nation UN Security Council.

Source: Beta, AP, Tanjug
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Serbia's former foreign minister and former UN General Assembly's president is the candidate of Serbia for the new UN secretary general.

The first round of a secret vote to elect the new UN secretary general was held behind closed doors on Thursday, with ambassadors choosing from among 12 candidates.

AP has reported that Portugal's former prime minister Antonio Guterres came in first in the informal poll, followed by Slovenia's former president Danilo Turk.

Two diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity said that three candidates had the same support for third place - UNESCO President Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, Vuk Jeremic, and former Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim.

15 council members voted to "encourage," ''discourage," or express "no opinion" about the 12 candidates.

Former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pucic fared the worst, receiving 11 "discourage" votes, the most of the 12 candidates.

The process usually concludes by October and the next secretary general will take over from Ban Ki-moon in January 2017.

Japan's ambassador Koro Bessho, whose country is chairing the Council this month, said after the meeting that only the candidates knew the result of the vote, via the representatives of their countries.

The candidates for the UN secretary general so far are Irina Bokova (Bulgaria), Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica), Antonio Guterres (Portugal), Vuk Jeremic (Serbia), Srgjan Kerim (Macedonia), Helen Clark (New Zealand), Miroslav Lajcak (Slovakia), Igor Luksic (Montenegro), Susana Malcorra (Argentina), Vesna Pusic (Croatia) and Danilo Tirk (Slovenia).

The head of the world organization, according to the rule of geographical rotation which was always respected in the past, "is to be chosen out of the group of eastern European countries," Beta reported.

Jeremic "pleased, cautiously optimistic"

Vuk Jeremic reacted to the results of the vote by saying he was very pleased, and was awaiting the second round with a moderate dose of optimism.

"Our position ahead of the second round of voting is good. There is a possibility that it may be held as early as next week. Our candidature has been noted as the only one accompanied by a concise and transparent platform. We continue with our dynamic campaign, and go into the second round with cautious optimism," he said in a statement for the media.

Jeremic noted that the results of the first round of voting would not be announced publicly, and that only the candidates and their countries have been notified about their own performance, with the candidates expected to respect the UN Security Council's decision "not to go public with the numbers."

Politics

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