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For ICC, DR Gets In, Regional Solution Stalled on Mauritius & Cathala of France

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 15 -- As the elections for International Criminal Court judges moved past 7:30 pm on Thursday, after Costa Rica's former Permanent Representative to the UN Jorge Antonio Urbina Ortega dropped out there remained five candidates for three seats.

  The top three vote getters, two rounds after Urbina's withdrawal, were Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia from the Dominican Republic with 77 -- four more than the 73 votes needed -- Howard Morrison of the UK with 66, and Chile Eboe-Osuji of Nigeria, with 63.

 Each had increased vote counts from the tenth to eleventh to 12th round. Numerous representatives of state parties said this was a perfectly UN solution: of the three seats, one to Latin America (done), then one to Europe and one to Africa.

But the "other" European, Bruno Cathala of France whose country as exposed by Inner City Press offered to trade its vote for an unqualified candidate in order for one more vote for Cathala, refused to drop out, as did the candidate from Mauritius.

  The floor was open for withdrawals, but in the French seat Ms. Frappeur, formerly at the ICC, did not stir. Rather, she was seen whispering feverishly to the representative in the seat of Benin.

(c) UN Photo
Cathala at UN, vote trading with unqualified candidate not shown

  Earlier on Thursday Inner City Press asked outgoing ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo if this vote trading was any way to choose ICC judges. He said that as prosecutor he would not comment. The former and now current presidents of the Assembly of State Parties both condemned the practice. But a practitioner remains in the race, as it get uglier with each round. It will continue. Watch this site.

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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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