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Former Portuguese PM on way to heading-up United Nations

No sooner has one former Portuguese prime minister bowed out of politics for the world of high finance, than another is tipped to become the next secretary general of the United Nations.

But while José Manuel Barroso’s new post is still filling newspapers with column inches of outrage (click here), the likely new job of António Guterres is seemingly upsetting no-one.

Outgoing secretary-general Ban Ki Moon has praised him as “a great leader, with a strong vision” for whom he has great admiration. As the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Guterres will be leaving “a great legacy”, Moon said during a recent visit to Portugal.

For now, there are still 12 others in the ‘race’ for the UN’s top job. Guterres has emerged the ahead of former Slovenian president Danilo Turk and other candidates, including former New Zealand premier Helen Clark, UNESCO director Irina Bokova, and Argentine foreign minister Susana Malcorra.

Expresso explains that to be chosen, Guterres needs at least nine votes from the UN’s security council, “including those of the five permanent members – China, France, the USA, UK and Russia”.

The next round of voting will take place on July 28, with the final result coming through in October.

If successful, Guterres would take up his new posting in January 2017.