From the BBC

South Korea’s Foreign Minister, Ban Ki-moon, is reported to be still ahead in the contest to succeed Kofi Annan as secretary general of the UN. Members of the Security Council say he received the most support in another straw poll on Thursday. He was ahead of senior UN official Shashi Tharoor of India and the Thai Deputy Prime Minister, Surakiart Sathirathai.

It could be great for Korea if Ban got the job provided he has a clean past and no skeletons in his closet that could come out later.

But it may be better not make any assumptions about the outcome just yet.

Mr Ban might appear to be establishing himself as the front-runner, but diplomats urge caution in interpreting these straw polls because strong early contenders can fall away as the process moves towards its conclusion. It all takes place behind closed doors, with the Security Council having the final say. 

Personally I think Jordan’s ambassador to the UN, Prince Zeid al-Hussein will get it because the Security Council think it will help to defuse the “us and them” attitude that is growing in the Islamic world towards International Organisations.

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