India's nominee Shashi Tharoor has gracefully bowed out of the UN Secretary-General race after the South Korean front-runner, Ban Ki-moon, emerged a clear winner in Monday's crucial straw poll, capturing 14 positive votes and one of 'no opinion'.
Significantly, Ban was the only candidate to escape a negative vote from any of the 15 Security Council members, including the five veto-wielding nations — US, Britain, France, Russia and China.
Tharoor won 10 positive votes, but one of his three negative votes was from a veto power, thus ending his prospects. His tally included two "no opinion" votes.
Soon after the result of the informal poll was out, Tharoor wrote to Ban, warmly congratulating him on the outcome.
"It is clear that he (Ban) will be our next Secretary-General," Tharoor said in a statement to the media. "It's a great honour and a huge responsibility to be Secretary-General and I wish Ban every success in that task."
An official poll is slated to be held on October 9 in which the Security Council is expected to formalise Ban's nomination, which will then be sent to the 192-member UN General Assembly for approval.