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Amano leads straw poll in race for IAEA chief.

VIENNA, June 9 Kyodo

Yukiya Amano of Japan led other candidates in an informal nonbinding straw poll Tuesday ahead of the election for the next director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Ernest Petric of Slovenia, a rival candidate, told reporters after a closed-door meeting that Amano got 20 out of 35 possible votes.

Abdul Samad Minty of South Africa received 11 votes and Luis Echavarri of Spain got four. Petric and Jean Pol Poncelet of Belgium did not receive any votes.

The straw poll, conducted during the closed-door session of the 35 member states on the Board of Governors, was held to help candidates gauge how much support they would receive.

Petric said he would talk to his government about whether to remain in the race.

A date for the second round has not been set but could be held in early July. The IAEA board intends to make a decision about the successor to outgoing Director General Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt and to seek approval during its annual general conference in September before he leaves office at the end of November.

In late March, the IAEA failed to select a successor to ElBaradei in an election fought by two candidates -- Amano, Japan's ambassador to the Permanent Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, and Minty, South Africa's representative to the IAEA. Neither of the two candidates secured the required two-thirds majority.

The IAEA then invited member states to submit new candidates and the five, including Amano and Minty, were nominated for the second round of balloting.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Jun 8, 2009
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