Governors of the UN nuclear watchdog failed to agree on a successor to director-general Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday after five rounds of voting, opening the field to new candidates, diplomats said.
Yukiya Amano, Japan's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, was the leading candidate but fell one vote short of the 2/3 majority required in the two-day election at a special session of the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors.
After three inconclusive rounds on Thursday in which Amano outpolled rival Abdul Samad Minty but not by a winning margin, the board resorted to two "yes, no or abstain" ballots for each candidate on Friday. Amano took 22 "yes" votes, 12 "no" with one abstention. Minty garnered 15 yes votes, 19 "no" with one abstention.