There is a quite amusing debate emerging on the candidacy of Niranjan Deva-Aditya over at UNSG. Apparently one of Deva’s Sri Lankan supporters put up an over-enthusiastic website in Sri Lanka, getting some of the details wrong. UNSG pointed out some of these flaws. The Deva campaign clarified.
The interesting questions are, of course:
First, will Deva get nominated? The press release posted on UNSG seems to suggest that they think it is a real possibility. There was also a recent article in the gossip section of a British magazine lists specific countries who support him. What to make of this? Of course, without a formal nomination, from Sri Lanka or another country, it is impossible for him to be a candidate.
Second, Mr. Fleming, over at UNSG argues that there is a “long shot” way for Deva to emerge as a candidate:
“Deva does have one (long) shot. If the straw polls to be taken this month reveal low support for Dhanapala, …”
This is, of course, also the Goh strategy vis-a-vis ASEAN. It goes like this:
- The first straw poll happens. Sathirathai’s support is vanishingly small. (as our sources in New York indicate is the case)
- ASEAN tries to push Sathirathai out and submits Goh’s name. If that fails, supporters in other countries do this anyways.
- At this point, the debate is reconfigured and real compromise can take place.
For this to work for Deva, Dhanapala will have to fail on the first straw poll, which we fully expect. If Dhanapala is taken seriously a week from now, then Deva would have little basis for continuing.
The lesson here in these strategies is that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It is our analysis that the Goh-Deva strategy is viable and that none of the 4 currently nominated candidates will have job on Secretary General on January 1st. But we could be proven wrong next week when the first straw poll happens.