India celebrates diplomatic win after Justice Bhandari re-elected to ICJ

New Delhi: India’s Justice Dalveen Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice for a nine year term with an absolute majority.

Bhandari obtained an absolute majority, or 183 of the 193 votes in the United Nations General Assembly and all 15 votes in the Security Council in simultaneous elections that were held at the UN’s headquarters in New York.

Congratulating Bhandari on his re-election, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday tweeted, “Vande Matram — India wins election to the International Court of Justice. JaiHind. #ICJ.” She added, “Huge efforts by Team — MEA. Syed Akbaruddin our Permanent Representative in UN deserves a special mention.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Bhandari as well and called his re-election a proud moment for India. He lauded Swaraj and her team for its “untiring efforts” that led to India’s re-election to the world court.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, was congratulated by other representatives on the floor of the General Assembly once the election was called. He later took to Twitter to say, “A vote that brings cheer to a billion. India’s nominee Judge Bhandari re-elected to ICJ.”

President Ram Nath Kovind called it a diplomatic milestone for the country. A host of politicians, cutting across parties, congratulated Bhandari on Tuesday as well. BJP president Amit Shah said the victory reflects the government’s diplomatic success. “With every step and effort of the Modi Government, we see the reflection of a strong and decisive leadership,” he tweeted.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Pema Khandu, Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh respectively, congratulated Bhandari.

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Triumph for diplomacy: UK withdraws its candidate from the contest for a seat at the @CIJ_ICJ, citing friendly relations with India. This was the best way for the standoff to end. Congratulations to all involved in ensuring this result.”

Britain’s withdrawal came as a surprise, as the fight between Greenwood and Bhandari had been neck-and-neck. In the first 11 rounds of voting, Bhandari reportedly polled two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.

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