India's nominee Bhandari re-elected to ICJ

India's nominee Bhandari re-elected to ICJ

India's Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice on Tuesday with more than two-thirds of the UN members backing him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate amidst high drama in the hard-fought race to the world court.

In what was described by India as one of its "biggest diplomatic victories" in the multilateral arena, Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the Hague-based ICJ after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters here.

Bhandari, 70, was declared re-elected for a fresh nine-year term after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood from the race about an hour before the voting.

According to observers, Bhandari's victory has sent a strong message to the leading powers about the winds of change in the world and underscored the point that India is now a force to reckon with.

The ICJ has a bench of 15 judges, five of whom are elected every three years for a nine-year term. To be elected, the candidate needed a majority in both the chambers.

With Bhandari's election, Britain will not have a judge on the world court's 15-member panel for the first time. Also, for the first time in 70 years, a permanent member of the Security Council lost to a non-permanent member for a seat in the ICJ.

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