The Security Council chose Annan on Friday after Bedie withdrew Ivory Coast’s nomination of its foreign minister, Amara Essey, for the post. France had been backing Essey and using its veto against Annan, the U.S. favorite  in its own display of irritation at the Clinton administration’s rejection of Boutros-Ghali. Bedie said he had withdrawn his nomination of Essey because he feared a protracted stalemate might prompt the United Nations’ leading powers to choose a non-African. “Our real interest was that the post be returned to Africa,” he said. Historically, the secretary generalship has been passed among the continents every two terms. Unlike his predecessors, Boutros-Ghali, an Egyptian, has served only one term. African governments unanimously endorsed him for reelection. But the Clinton administration, which has been pressed by Republicans in Congress, used its veto in the Security Council to block Boutros-Ghali. The administration has accused Boutros-Ghali of doing too little to reform and streamline U.N. operations. In electing another African, “the international community, and thus the United States, understood that it had done {Africans} violence in striking us frontally with this veto of Boutros-Ghali,” said Bedie. The election of another African “was a compensation,” he said, but “I don’t know whether it is sufficient compensation in the view of all African states.” Bedie stopped short of condemning the United States, saying “I do not judge” the Clinton administration on its actions. But he said African states have little voice in world politics. Asked his opinion of the U.S. role in the controversy, Bedie said, “Unhappily, our opinions haven’t counted.” He said the United States was unlikely to suffer serious problems as a result of its having bruised Africans’ feelings. Still, Bedie indirectly criticized Washington. Recalling his own days as a diplomat at the United Nations in the 1960s, Bedie said, “I regret that past in which the use of the veto was reserved for truly great questions . . . of maintaining peace.