No progress after IAEA straw poll

09 June 2009

A straw poll conducted this morning in Vienna has left the two previous candidates for head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the leaders after only one of the new names garnered any votes.

Minty March 2009
Amano March 2009
Adbul Samad Minty and Yukiya Amano
during the previous rounds of voting
(Image: IAEA Imagebank)
The informal poll of the members of the IAEA governing board was the latest stage in the process to pick someone to take the role of IAEA director general after Mohamed Elbaradei steps down on 30 November.

Two previous rounds of voting in April failed to pick a winner between Yukiya Amano of Japan and Abdul Samad Minty of South Africa and three new candidates were put forward by their governments. However, today's poll saw Amano and Minty remain leaders in the competition with 20 votes and 11 votes respectively after Luis Echávarri of Spain received only four votes and the others, Ernest Petrič of Slovenia and Jean-Pol Poncelet of Belgium, received no votes. 


A message to IAEA member states said the next step will be to poll again on 2 July with Amano and Minty as the candidates. In the IAEA's system, the 35 members of the governing board meet in a closed session and vote in secret. To win, a candidate must gain a two-thirds majority among members who vote but an alternative is to conduct separate 'yes/no' votes on each candidate in turn.


The IAEA board wants to make an appointment in time for submission to the IAEA General Conference in September.