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Nigeria’s Tijani Bande to exit UNGA Presidency seat as UN fixes June 17 for election of successor

The election of the President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) holds on June 17.

Also to be elected same day are new members of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council of the world body.

The current UNGA President and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, announced these in a statement by his spokesperson, Reem Abaza, on Tuesday night.

Muhammad-Bande said the election would hold in the General Assembly Hall at the organisation’s headquarters in New York, United States of America in line with social distancing guidelines of the COVID-19.

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On Friday, the Assembly adopted a new voting protocol, titled: “Procedure for holding elections by secret ballot without a plenary meeting during the Coronavirus pandemic.”

It is aimed at preventing a large gathering and ensuring social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new procedure, delegates will cast secret ballots during spaced-out time slots, instead of gathering in the Assembly Hall chamber.

Muhammad-Bande said member countries would be informed of their specific voting time slots five working days prior to the elections.

He said: “The casting of the ballots in the designated venue will be webcast.

“The president will oversee the proceedings in the General Assembly Hall and the tellers will also be observing the whole process.”

Turkish ambassador to the UN, Volkan Bozkir, is the sole candidate for the president of the 75th session of the 193-member General Assembly, which begins in September.

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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that his name was initially sent for unanimous approval, but several countries reportedly requested a vote.

In the UN Security Council, there are five permanent members: United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, and 10 non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.

On June 17, seven countries would be contesting for five seats in the council, which is the most powerful organ of the UN.

Canada, Ireland and Norway are vying for two seats in the group of Western nations, while Kenya and Djibouti are battling for one seat to represent Africa.

India is running unopposed for the Asia-Pacific seat, same for Mexico for the Latin America and Caribbean seat.