Diplomats at the United Nations say Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres is likely to be the next UN secretary-general after receiving unanimous support in a key secret ballot by the UN Security Council.
None of the five permanent Security Council members vetoed Guterres’s candidacy in the October 5 straw ballot, which was the sixth secret ballot by the 15-member council.
Guterres also came out on top in the five previous closed-door polls.
The Security Council will take a formal vote on October 6 and will then send its recommendation to the UN General Assembly, which will also conduct a vote to essentially rubber-stamp the council's decision.
The next UN secretary-general will replace the outgoing Ban Ki-moon of South Korea.
Ban will step down from the post at the end of 2016 after two five-year terms.