Kristilana Georgieva enters UN race

The contest for new United Nations Secretary General has been given a shake up with a new candidate stepping forward, Bulgarian Kristilana Georgieva.

This isn’t an unexpected move, it has been discussed and predicted, but Paddy Gower talks up the drama.

Newshub: UN race: Bulgaria swaps Irina Bokova for Kristilana Georgieva, likely hurting Helen Clark’s chances

Clark’s chances were already virtually hopeless.

Georgieva ticks both the ‘time for’ boxes, time for an Eastern European heading the UN, and time for a woman.

A global powerplay has rocked the race for United Nations with the last-minute entry of a new female candidate from Eastern Europe.

Bulgaria’s Kristilana Georgieva’s dramatic late decision to run can only be seen as a devastating blow for Helen Clark, who was already struggling.

Ms Georgieva, a former World Bank economist, is currently the budget chief at the European Union and has the backing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

She is from Eastern Europe, which believes it is its turn to have the Secretary-General, and she would satisfy the push to have a woman in the role for the first time.

There was already a Bulgarian woman, Irina Bokova, in the contest but she has stood aside.

There has been a push to get Ms Georgieva in for some time, with Ms Merkel hitting up Russian President Vladamir Putin on the sidelines of the G20.

It is a clear move to get Ms Georgieva in before the next straw poll of the Security Council, which is the first meaningful poll because because vetos will be used for the first time.

With an archaic anomaly still in place any of the five permanent members of the Security Council can veto any candidate.

A source from inside Helen Clark’s team told Newshub “it is not quite over for Helen”.

Yeah, nah. Dreaming.

It looks likely that Ms Georgieva is the political solution and the ‘compromise candidate”’ acceptable to all countries that Ms Clark was hoping to be.

The next straw poll will give an indication of whether the new UN Secretary general has been jacked up behind the scenes or not.

More ‘discourage’ for Clark in latest UN poll

Helen Clark has edged up the rankings but has changed little in the 5th Security Council straw poll on the next UN Secretary General

Clark received the same number of ‘encourage’ votes, 6, the same as she got in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th polls (she got 8 in the 1st poll).

Her 2’no opinion’ votes in the last poll switched to ‘discourage’ in this poll, which must be a bit discouraging for Clark.

RNZ: Helen Clark seventh in latest UN poll

Former Portuguese prime minister António Guterres remains in first place with 12 votes, and former Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremić moved up to second place with eight votes.

Guterres looks to be well ahead, but a candidate only requires one veto from one of the five permanent members to hit a brick wall.


Clark undeterred by another disappointing poll

Helen Clark says she will keep contesting the role of United Nations Secretary despite another disappointing straw poll.

She got one less discourage vote but still has seven, has only six encourage votes, and she dropped a place in the rankings.

In the four straw polls so far she has been ranked 6th, 7th, 7th and now 8th.

The latest poll (encourage-discourage-no opinion)

• Antonio Guterres, Portugal: 12 – 2 – 1
• Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia: 10 – 4 – 1
• Vuk Jeremic, Serbia: 9 – 4 – 2
• Srgjan Kerim, Macedonia: 8 – 7 – 0
• Irina Bokova, Bulgaria: 7 – 5 – 3
• Danilo Turk, Slovenia: 7 – 6 – 2
• Susana Malcorra, Argentina: 7 – 7 – 1
• Helen Clark, New Zealand: 6 – 7 – 2
• Christiana Figueres, Costa Rica: 5 – 10 – 0
• Natalia Gherman, Moldova: 3 – 11 – 1

The last two must consider dropping out. If they do Clark would be struggling at the bottom.

NZ Herald reports Helen Clark to continue campaign after fourth UN Secretary General poll

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark says she will remain in the contest to be the next Secretary General after a slight improvement in her results in the fourth straw poll of Security Council members.

In a statement, Clark said she was pleased with the improvement among a tight pack of candidates and her campaign will continue.

It remains very tough for Clark to get up from there.