The UN Security Council held its first informal poll for Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's successor. A secretive vote behind the closed doors was taken yesterday for Dozen candidates who are competing to take over as Secretary-General on Jan 1. 
Diplomats said Portugal's former Prime Minister, Antonio Guterres, who was the UN's refugee chief for 10 years, took the lead in the first straw poll. Slovenia's former president Danilo Turk came second. 
The 15 ambassadors including those from the powerful permanent five, each rated the candidates with ballots marked "encourage,"

"discourage" or "no opinion."
Guterres won the top score of 12 "encourage" votes, while Turk was close behind with 11 encouragements. Council members are expected to meet again, possibly as early as next week, for a second round of straw polls, with a final nominee expected to emerge by October. 
According to the UN Charter, the secretary-general is chosen by the 193-member General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. In practice, this has meant that the council's five permanent members the US, Russia, China, Britain and France have veto power over the candidates.

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