ibnlive » World

Jun 09, 2009 at 03:29pm IST

IAEA meets to finalise ElBaradei's successors

Vienna: The governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gathered on Tuesday in Vienna to narrow down the list of five candidates to succeed Mohamed ElBaradei as director general of the nuclear watchdog.

In the informal straw poll, the choice was between Japanese diplomat Yukiyo Amano, Nuclear Energy Agency chief Luis Echavarri of Spain, South African diplomat Abdul Minty, Slovenian constitutional court judge Ernest Petric and Belgian nuclear industry executive Jean-Pol Poncelet.

The purpose of the meeting was for the 35 countries on the board to identify the leading contenders ahead of a formal voting session in the coming weeks. Candidates could also drop out of the race if they receive little support on Tuesday.

NUCLEAR DECISION: ElBaradei is set to retire in November after 12 years in office.

It was the second attempt to win the prestigious post for Amano and Minty after neither of them got the necessary two-thirds majority in a first official vote in March.

Diplomats said ahead of the straw poll that the Japanese and South African candidate would likely be able to retain many of their initial supporters, while either Echavarri or Poncelet was predicted to come in third.

ElBaradei is set to retire in November after 12 years in office.