Three new candidates have been put forward in the contest for the director-general of the IAEA after Mohamed ElBaradei announced he would not continue in the post after November 2009.

They are Spain’s Luis Echávarri, Slovenia’s Ernest Petric and Belgium’s Jean-Pol Poncelet. They join two previous candidates, Japan’s Yukiya Amano and South Africa’s Abdul Samad Minty.

In March, neither of the previous two candidates were able to muster a two-thirds majority from the 35-member board of governors required for nomination to the director-general post, although Amano only just missed out.

ElBaradei was made the IAEA director in 1997, and was reelected in 2001 and 2005.

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