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Sweden, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Bolivia were elected to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday for 2017-18, but further voting was due to take place to decide the final seat with Italy and the Netherlands almost locked in a tie.

After three rounds of voting by the 193-member UN General Assembly, The Netherlands had 96 votes, while Italy had 94. Countries need more than two-thirds of the vote to win a seat.

Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, speaks at the UN headquarters in New York. FILE PHOTO | AFP
Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, speaks at the UN headquarters in New York. FILE PHOTO | AFP

The General Assembly elected Sweden with 134 votes in favour, Ethiopia with 185 and Bolivia with 183 in the first round of voting. Kazakhstan beat Thailand with 138 votes in favour in the second round of voting.

The new members will replace Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela on the council from January 1, 2017.

The council is made up of 10 elected members – five voted on each year – and five permanent veto-powers who are the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.

The council is the only UN body that can make legally binding decisions.

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