Portugal's Antonio Guterres set to be the next UN Secretary General

Jessica Morris
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Antonio Guterres is a former prime minister of Portugal (Source: Getty)

Portugal's Antonio Guterres is set to be the next United Nations Secretary-General.

It comes after none of the five UN Security Council veto powers — China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US — voted against him in a secret ballot today.

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It paved the way for Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister and UN refugee chief, to replace Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who is due to step down at the end of 2016 after two five-year terms.

"Today after our sixth straw poll we have a clear favourite and his name is Antonia Guterres," Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters.

"We have decided to go to a formal vote tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, and we hope it can be done by acclamation," said Churkin, who is council president for October.

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The Security Council still needs to adopt a resolution behind closed doors before it can recommend a candidate to the 193-member General Assembly for election.

The Security Council's resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes to pass.

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