Portugal's ex-PM maintains lead in informal polls for UNSG

United Nations: Portugal's former premier Antonio Guterres maintained his lead in the second round of informal polls held here to elect the next UN Secretary General, even as hopes appear to fade for a woman to be elected for the first time as the world's top diplomat.

The powerful 15-nation UN Security Council held the second round of so-called straw polls yesterday. Diplomats said Guterres led the pack of 11 contenders, garnering 11 "encouraging" votes for his candidacy, two "discouraging" and two expressing "no opinion" on it.

Guterres, who had served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 10 years, had emerged as the front-runner in the first straw poll that was conducted last month. Guterres was followed by Slovenia's former president Danilo Turk and Bulgaria's Irina Bokova, who serves as UNESCO Director-General in the first round.

The second round saw former Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic rising from the fourth spot to take second place, with eight votes encouraging him, four discouraging and three expressing no opinion.

Argentina's foreign minister Susana Malcorra moved up from the seventh place to third place in the second round, garnering eight encouraging votes, six discourages and one no opinion.

PTI 

Yoshita Singh