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ICC Vote Closed, French Trade So Far Unsuccessful, UK Puncher's Chance

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- After the build up to the election of International Criminal Court judges, complete with press conferences and receptions, the voting on Tuesday morning was conducted in a room with a sign: "Closed."

  Through the glass windows of the room several players were visible working the crowd, including Bruno Cathala whose country, France, offered to exchange votes with a candidate judged "unqualified" - click here for that story.

  Miriam Defensor-Santiago crossed the required 70 vote threshold in the first round on Monday, after a campaign complete with speeches in the North Lawn building, lamb chops and samosas. Cathala got only 40 votes in the first round, but a French mission diplomat previously with the ICC, like Cathala, was working the crowd.

  Howard Morrison of the UK got more votes, at 61, leaving him with a puncher's chance. The top two British diplomats at the UN were in the North Lawn building on Tuesday morning; while their North Lawn agenda is not known, Morrison's picture is on the front page of the UK Mission's web site.

Tunisia's candidate withdrew on December 1 -- another disgruntled candidate told Inner City Press the Tunisian had been "encouraged" to drop out -- and on December 13, three more candidates, all from Africa, dropped out.

ASP through windows Dec 13, Cathala in scrum (c) MRLee

The tables in Conference Room 2 were full of campaign literature. Why was the meeting listed as "closed"? A conference officer said that on Monday the rule was broken, the room filled with NGOs. But the sign remained -- "closed" -- with the possibility of cracking down on any media which went in. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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