Warren Hoge on the candidates

This is an excerpt from the transcript of Ban Ki-moon's CFR speech. First, Warren Hoge, the emcee, from the NYT identified a list of candidates that are being taken seriously in NY:

But to give you an indication of the free-for-all nature of the present race, at the moment the people who are being talked about include a Jordanian prince, a Turkish economist, a Nobel laureate from Sri Lanka, Sweden's most accomplished diplomat, two Eastern European presidents, and even, as you all probably know, Bill Clinton. Don't hold your breath on the last one.

Our thoughts:

First, we assume that "Nobel laureate from Sri Lanka" is an error and that he meant something like "a Nobel laureate and a Sri Lankan". We don't know of any Nobel laureates of Sri Lankan origin. So we assume that he means Jayanthana Dhanapala and Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel laureate and Foreign Minister from East Timor. However,  East Timor is nearing political collapse and Ramos-Horta's leadership may be needed at home.

Second, it's interesting that Sathirathai is not on the list. The collapse of his country's government has surely had an impact on his candidacy despite recent attempts to revive it. There may also be human rights concerns about the treatment of Muslims in southern Thailand. Similarly, he doesn't mention Shashi Tharoor, who is sometimes discussed as the insider candidate.

Third, we suspect that the world is not about to elect a prince to be the "secular pope" when the spread of democracy is a major theme for at least one of the P5 countries.

Fourth, there are more comments about Kemal Dervis, the Turkish economist. Dervis appears to be a powerful candidate, however one wonders if the Chinese would accept him as an Asian. Turkey is in the WEOG group. However, Dervis has one of the most successful records in International Organizations.

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