Amano in the frame for IAEA leadership

02 July 2009

Yukiya Amano looks set to be the next director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after a marathon voting session of the board of governors.


Amano March 2009
Yukiya Amano during the first
vote in March

The 35-member board held six polls in Vienna today before Amano took the necessary two-thirds majority of voting members to be considered its selection, and that came with the help of an abstention. The board had already met three times before in its attempts to resolve the matter of who will lead the agency after Mohamed Elbaradei steps down on 30 November.


Today started with a three-way vote between Amano, Abdul Samad Minty and Luis Echávarri in which Amano won 20 votes; Minty, 10; and Echavarri, 5. After that, Echávarri was eliminated to leave the two long-time contenders to battle it out again.


Three more votes this morning all had the same result: Amano with 23 votes - just one short of the required majority - and Minty with 12 votes. In the afternoon a 'yes/no' vote was held on Amano who again won 23 votes. However, the abstention of one board member lowered the barrier enough for the 23 votes to represent a two-thirds majority.


The board is to meet again tomorrow when chair Taous Feroukhi will propose Amano is appointed the board's candidate by acclamation. This means his name will go forward for a final vote by simple majority at the IAEA General Conference this September.