AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Malcolm Turnbull’s government appears undecided about endorsing former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as the next United Nations Secretary General contrary to New Zealand, where praises are being showered on fellow candidate Helen Clark.
According to reports, the Cabinet is expected to vote on the decision next week, but Turnbull has turned down many opportunities to endorse Rudd, having called him “self-serving” in the past.
However, New Zealand’s Clark has been soundly endorsed by her government, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade posting on Twitter about her expected wonderful performance.
Clark is being widely seen as a frontrunner in the bid to become Secretary General, but has only placed sixth in the 12-strong field in a straw poll held by the UN Security Council before arriving at a consensus.
The informal poll’s results saw Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres at the top, followed by Slovenia’s former president Danilo Turk.
Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, who heads UNESCO, is the only woman in the top five, holding the third position.
Although the 15 Council Members wanted to hide their votes to “encourage,” “discourage,” or express “no opinion” about the 12 candidates, it was leaked that Clark reportedly received eight “encourage” votes but five “discourage” votes and two “no opinion.”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said that Rudd’s participation in the bid will not impact Clark’s possibilities, saying, “If a country has a former prime minister that goes to the government and asks the government to support them for a particular position, then that’s a very difficult thing for the particular government in question, or it can be a difficult position because in the end, most people want to see their own nationals do well.”
Key, too, has thrown his support behind Clark, despite once describing her as “boring” and “a relic,” which the latter rebutted, calling Key a “flip flop.”
However, things have changed, as Key said if the run for the post “was a straight horse race on who has got the most ability, I think Helen Clark would win.”