Vīķe-Freiberga’s hope for U.N. job dims after poll

A formal Security Council vote on the next secretary general of the United Nations may take place next week and, based on a straw poll Oct. 2, Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga’s chances of getting the job do not look good.

Vīķe-Freiberga again finished third in the informal vote, which is a respectable result considering her candidacy was only announced Sept. 15. However, in the Oct. 2 poll, the five permanent members of the Security Council all supported Ban Ki-Moon, foreign minister of South Korea, according the media reports. Also, Vīķe-Freiberga received six “discourage” votes to five “encourage” votes in this poll, a slip from in her support in the Sept. 28 poll.

Although she is still a candidate, the Latvian president seems resigned to the fact that she will not be the next secretary general. The president is viewing the results realistically, her press office announced after the vote, and at the same time is satisfied how high she has finished in the polling.

Two of the seven announced candidates have withdrawn. Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala dropped out after the Sept. 28 poll, while Shashi Tharoor of India, who had been No. 2 in the polls, withdrew after the most recent vote.

Speaking after the vote, Tharoor said it is clear the South Korean candidate will be the next secretary general.

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

One thought on “Vīķe-Freiberga’s hope for U.N. job dims after poll

  1. That’s indeed a pitty! Because it’s time that a woman heads the UN. Hopefully, as read today in the German newspapers the most of the pre-voted guys did not make it finally. And the South Korean guy just does not have the personality to be head of the UN.
    I keep my fingers crossed and hopefully….

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