Helen Clark favoured by bookies for UN top job
HELEN Clark has been named as joint favourite for the United Nations' top job by British bookmakers.
After formally announcing her bid for the Secretary-General position yesterday, Clark was given odds of 7/2, or a 22 per cent chance of winning, by betting company William Hill.
Bulgarian politician and director general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, also had odds of 7/2.
William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said the contest appeared to be wide open, "although the mood music seems to indicate that there is a desire to appoint a woman in the role for the first time".
Irish bookmakers Paddy Power named Clark as the outright favourite, with odds of 3/1, ahead of Irina Bokova on 9/2.
Several current or former country leaders were among the frontrunners, including Angela Merkel, who was given odds of 8/1 by William Hill and 10/1 by Paddy Power.
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who is considering a bid, was given odds of 25/1 by William Hill.
Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that he believed Clark had an advantage in the contest because she was in a "neutral position".
That meant she was less likely to be vetoed by any of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, he said.