United Nations South Korea's foreign minister cemented his position as the near-certain successor to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday, the only one of six candidates to escape a veto in an informal Security Council ballot.
The Security Council was expected to hold a formal vote to pick the eighth secretary-general in the United Nations' 60-year history on Oct. 9, making Ban Ki-Moon's appointment almost assured. The 192-nation General Assembly must approve the council's recommendation, and traditionally does so without protest.
"It is quite clear that from today's straw poll that Minister Ban Ki-Moon is the candidate that the Security Council will recommend to the General Assembly," China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said.
While the informal poll is nonbinding and the final vote could be different, diplomats and candidates left little doubt that Ban would win. Soon after the results became known, India's Shashi Tharoor, the U.N. undersecretary-general for public information, said he was leaving the race even though he placed second to Ban in all four informal polls.