Ban slips but holds, Vike Freiberga pushes into third

Ban slipped by one vote in today’s straw poll, but maintained an overall strong standing relative to his fellow candidates. Tharoor also held onto second place, but lost two encouragements to the “no opinion” column. 

But it was Latvia’s President Vaira Vike-Frieberga that achieved the surprise victory, pushing past the other challengers to secure an impressive if not strong third place standing. On top of being the only non-Asian in the race, this was an outstanding showing for a candidate that entered the race less than two weeks ago. 

  Encourage Discourage No Opinion
Ban 13 1 1
Tharoor 8 3 4
Vike-Freiberga 7 6 2
Surakiart 5 7 3
Zeid 3 6 6
Ghani 3 6 6
Dhanapala 3 7 5

All other candidates received more discouragements than encouragements, including former third-place holder Surakiart. Nearly half of his former encouragers now firmly discourage his continued candidacy. Even if all those holding “no opinion” were to rally behind him, the beseiged Thai candidate would not secure even the minimum number of votes to win. 

Zeid’s standing was cut in half, losing three of his supporting votes in the last two weeks. Ghani barely eaked out a poor sixth-place showing, and like Zeid, received twice as many discouragements as encouragements.

Dhanapala did even worse this round, not only coming in last again, but picking up two more discouragements. Given their insufficient encouragement plus “no opinion” tallies, he and Surakiart need to honestly reappraise whether to continue.

More analysis and commentary are sure to be forthcoming as we head toward Monday’s color-coded straw poll.

6 Responses to “Ban slips but holds, Vike Freiberga pushes into third”

  1. […] UNSG has the results. We will compare with the results of the 2nd round. Some observations […]

  2. Peter says:

    Now the real race begins. Ban is still in with a chance, but his additional discourage (was it Britain??) is a clear signal other candidates are wanted. It is no coincidence all the others fell below the ‘9 votes’ hurdle – they can either reitre now gracefully, or petulantly persist, but they are definitavely out of the race. The interesting question is whether other candidates will decare before Monday or not. Perhaps they will hold off hoping Ban will be red-carded on Monday, throwing things wide open – but that is a risk as Ban might get no red cards and be SG-elect come Monday afternoon, with unstoppable momentum. Personally, my bet is on Goh Chok Tong declaring soon and romping home (I can’t help but note the speculation Ban’s only negative vote last time round was from Qatar, and surprise surprise who has been negotiating the new close relationship between Singapore and Qatar).

    You heard it here first….

  3. […] Chapter 15 says: UNSG has the results. We will compare with the results of the 2nd round. Some observations […]

  4. […] According to The Economist and the UNSG’s own blog, the ROK’s Ban Ki-moon is facing some last minute competition in his drive to be the UN’s next secretary-general. It seems Britain, and possibly the US, are having second thoughts. The only factors favoring Ban’s candidacy now are exhaustion and the consensus view, that the next UN chief should be from an Asian country. […]

  5. concerned_earthling says:

    The allegations on vote-buying should be investigated by A UN body and a clean chit should be given before the appointment of UNSG.

  6. areopagus says:

    It’s time that Surakiart withdrew to allow ASEAN to choose from among a number of stronger candidates that could enter the fray. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Southeast Asia to raise its global profile and should not be missed. But if ASEAN sticks by Surakiart, then Ban could run away with a fait accompli by early next week. ASEAN has to act this weekend. What the UNSG needs is a strong, independent candidate with stature from ASEAN, the honest broker region, and a proven bridge builder who can bring different cultures together, particularly at this time when a clash of civilizations is brewing.

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