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Rudd's bid a dilemma for Aust govt: Joyce

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/07/2016

Deciding whether to support Kevin Rudd's bid to become the next UN Secretary-General is a dilemma the Australian government would rather not have, a senior cabinet minister says.

The former prime minister announced his bid last week, and has asked the Australian government to support his nomination.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said it will be a cabinet decision.

"I think it is a dilemma for the Australians, a little bit, but I think it is a dilemma they would rather not have," Steven Joyce told Newshub on Friday.

"They are sort of all quietly looking the other way as he prepares his candidacy."

Labour's deputy leader, Annette King, also thinks it's "a bit of a dilemma" for the Australian government.

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark is considered to be one of the front runners for the position, and Ms King recalled that former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott supported her bid.

"I suppose it causes a bit of a dilemma for them now, having said they supported Helen Clark they have someone of their own in the race," she said.

Neither Mr Joyce nor Ms King think Mr Rudd's entry will make much difference.

"Helen Clark got out early and made the running," Mr Joyce said.

"If it was a horse race she would be halfway down the home straight by now and he is just getting ready to launch himself into it."

Ms King said Miss Clark, who is head of the UN Development Programme, had been "out there doing the job" and making connections.

The UN Security Council has held its first secret ballot to whittle down the 12 candidates but won't make the results public.

It will continue to hold closed-door informal secret ballots until it reaches a consensus on which candidate it will recommend to the General Assembly.

Nominating states will be told of the results for their candidate, but overall results will not be made public.

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