Poll puts Latvian president third for U.N. job

Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga finished third in a Sept. 28 United Nations Security Council straw poll on who should become the next secretary general of the world body.

Although the result casts doubt on her chances of getting the U.N.‘s top job, she fared surprisingly well considering the president only announced her candidacy on Sept. 15.

Seven of the 15 members of the council checked “encourage” beside Vīķe-Freiberga’s name in the poll, according to media reports, while six ticked “discourage” and two “no opinion.” Frontrunner Ban Ki-Moon, foreign minister of South Korea, received 13 “encourage” votes, one “discourage” and one “no opinion.” Shashi Tharoor, a U.N. undersecretary general from India, came in second.

Vīķe-Freiberga, in a statement released by her press office, said she was pleased with the result and thanked her supporters.

The security council is expected to hold another straw poll Oct. 2.

Secretary General Kofi Annan’s term expires at the end of this year. The Security Council is to choose the next U.N. leader, but the U.N. General Assembly must confirm the decision. Observers expect that Russia or China, both permanent members of the Security Council, would use their veto power against Vīķe-Freiberga in favor of a candidate from Asia.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *