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Kiwi Clark lags in latest UN vote

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/08/2016

Helen Clark © Getty Images Helen Clark Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark says she's disappointed by the outcome of the latest Security Council secret ballot on who should be the next United Nations secretary-general.

She isn't among the top candidates following the second straw poll, which was held by the 15-member council in New York on Friday (local time).

In a tweet Miss Clark - who reportedly placed seventh - thanked council members who supported her.

She said she was disappointed by the outcome and would be discussing it over the coming days.

The council members cast ballots for each of the 11 candidates and the choice is encourage, discourage or no opinion.

Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres is still the frontrunner, receiving 11 encourage, two discourage and two no opinions, UN diplomats said.

In the first poll on July 21, Guterres received 12 encourages and three no opinions.

Former Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic moved up to second with eight encourage, four discourage and three no opinion, followed by Argentinian foreign minister Susana Malcorra who received eight encourage, six discourage and one no opinion.

Former Slovenian president Danilo Turk dropped to fourth from second with seven encourage, five discourage and three no opinion, diplomats said.

It's not yet known how exactly Miss Clark fared.

In the first straw poll last month she came sixth.

The Security Council will hold secret ballots until a consensus is reached on a candidate to replace Ban Ki-moon, who will step down at the end of 2016 after serving two five-year terms.

Diplomats said the aim was for the council to recommend a candidate to the 193-member General Assembly for election in September or October.

The UN has never had a woman secretary-general and in the lead-up to the straw polls there had been a major push for a woman to lead the organisation.

Former Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusic, who came last in the first ballot, dropped out of the race on Thursday.

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