VIENNA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Votes held here on Monday showed neck-and-neck race between two candidates for the post of Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA board of governors began on Monday the first steps of the balloting process for the appointment of a new director general, with Cornel Feruta of Romania winning 17 votes and Rafael Mariano Grossi of Argentina securing 16 votes, according to the IAEA website.
In a closed meeting, board members first cast ballots on three remaining candidates, with Feruta getting 14 votes, Grossi 15 votes, and Lassina Zerbo of Burkina Faso 5 votes.
Based on those results, a new round of balloting was held on the remaining candidates - Feruta and Grossi. And the chair of the board communicated to member states the result of this ballot.
In order to be appointed, a candidate must secure a two-thirds majority in the 35-member IAEA board of governors. In the absence of such a majority, the balloting process will continue.
Monday's balloting followed two straw polls earlier in October as part of informal consultations related to the appointment process, and both votes produced same results for Feruta (14 votes) and Grossi (15 votes).
The Board of Governors appoints the new director general for a term of four years. Its decision will be submitted for approval to the IAEA General Conference, which consists of representatives of all 171 member states.