Paris- The ranking of the top three candidates did not change in the second round of the UNESCO elections for a new director-general held Tuesday afternoon as Qatar’s candidate for the post of Director-General of the UN organization Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari remained in the lead with 20 votes out of the total 58 votes.
The second of four rounds of voting ended with the Egyptian candidate, Moushira Khattab nestling in third place with 12 votes.Her Qatari and French rivals garnered 20 and 13 ballots respectively, a statement from the organization on Tuesday revealed. In the first round, the Qatari, French, and Egyptian candidates got respectively 19, 13, and 11 votes.
Lebanese Candidate Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe received three votes, and Chinese candidate Qian Tang and Pham Sanh Chau of Vietnam garnered five votes each.
Polad Bulbuloglu from Azerbaijan retreated and did not compete in the second round while two other candidates are expected to retreat today, allowing the picture to become clearer.
Tuesday’s results were unexpected for the Lebanese candidate and contradicted with her team's expectations of getting additional votes (between two and three votes).
A representative of an Arab country told Asharq Al-Awsat that the United States and Britain voted in the first session in favor of Khoury Lacoeuilhe and not for the French candidate, which was also confirmed by French official sources.
Khattab said it was so far so good for her since she remains among the top three candidates for UNESCO’s top job.
According to her, the result would prompt Egypt into making the right steps required to pull off the ultimate victory in the run-off.
The winning candidate must obtain 30 votes, which did not occur in the first round but possible by a potential fifth round, which is to be held on Friday. The candidates who amassed the highest number of votes in the fourth round will compete in the fifth.
The new director-general of UNESCO will be named on October 13. Then, 195 members in the General Conference will be appointed in view of recommendations from UNESCO’s Executive Board.