At UNSG.org, Tony Fleming has the results of the straw poll.
We would like to make some observations:
- Ban Ki-moon clearly advanced. Unless his “discourage” is from a P5 member, he is the next Secretary General.
- Shashi Tharoor has made no progress since the last straw poll. He has moved one member state from “undecided” to “discourage”.
- Sathirathai has made real progress, however, he has not caught up with either of the frontrunners.
- Dhanapala has lost ground.
The President of the Security Council has made the consequences clear:
For the Sri Lankan it’s not worth it to continue and the others have too many discouragements in order to go ahead. I believe that whoever is coming in now, it’s too late.
He thinks it is over. And he probably thinks that Ban is the winner.
It is time for the candidates to listen to the straw poll. Shashi Tharoor and Sathirathai have a legitimate claim to stay in, although it seems clear from the Greek’s statement that they will not win. But Dhanapala needs to take the advice of the President of the Security Council and remove himself from this competition.
One of the things that has been striking to us throughout this race is the level of national pride and identity associated with the candidates in this race. The South Korean, Indian, and Sri Lankan press, especially, has fallen in love with the candidates. And, to a substantial extent, their publics have also. The low esteem that the Thai government is in with both its public and its media explains Sathirathai’s support.
Unfortunately, this close identification with candidates has resulted in publics’ mood following the fortunes of the candidates. For Dhanapala and the Sri Lankans, this is quite serious. The country is at a very serious point, with the peace process — Dhanapala’s peace process — collapsing. The mood of Sri Lankans that we encounter has been deeply impacted by this.
Furthermore, it is important for the publics to realize that this is not an indictment of their countries. If Shashi Tharoor loses, as it seems he will, this is not an indictment of India. Indeed, the question of whether Singh’s nomination of Tharoor is a blunder will likely be revisited. For the Sri Lankans, they need to understand that Dhanapala’s failings are not their own. They nominated an old man who did not impress people. This is not a statement about Sri Lanka.