UN Secretary-General Race Heats Up


The race for UN Secretary-General seems to be undergoing a few surprising changes, a new straw poll finds. Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres continues to have a steady lead, but received three “discourage” votes in this straw poll, one more than the last poll.

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak made a surprising jump into second place, gaining seven more “encourage” votes than last round. Lajcak is the only candidate who gained more “encourage” votes than the second round of voting, and is also the first UN outsider to make it into the top five, implying that the members of the UN Security Council may be prepared to support a person without much U.N. experience.

Two of the original twelve candidates for Secretary-General have pulled out of the race, and some analysts believe more will soon follow. However, others believe that Lajcak’s jump from the bottom will renew hope in other struggling candidates and encourage them to stay in the race. New Zealand’s Helen Clark in particular is believed to be staying in the race for at least one more straw poll, as she tweeted “la lucha continua” (“the struggle continues”).

The straw polls are informal tests of support for Secretary-General candidates. The voting is secretive so it is not known how the countries voted. The straw polls will eventually shift towards color ballots which will reveal the votes of permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

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