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UNSC Holds 1st Straw Poll on Secretary-General Candidates
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The UN Security Council yesterday held its first straw poll on candidates vying to become the world body's next secretary-general but made no announcement of the results.


All four candidates come from Asia, namely Sri Lanka's presidential advisor Jayantha Dhanapala, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Indian Shashi Tharoor, a UN undersecretary for communications and public information.


Speaking to reporters after the secret balloting, US Ambassador John Bolton said the council members agreed not to disclose the results but representatives from the candidates countries would be told their own votes.


The US is looking forward to a final decision on the new UN chief to be made as soon as possible, possibly in September or early October, said Bolton.


An unwritten rule, as well as a 1997 General Assembly resolution, says that due regard should be given to regional rotation in the selection of a secretary-general. As the last and only Asian to hold the post was U Thant of Burma, whose term ended 35 years ago, it is widely expected that it is the Asian group's turn.


(Xinhua News Agency July 25, 2006)


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