A U.N. official says Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to dismiss the head of the world body's election unit.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, at least one official said Carina Perelli will be fired as early as Monday because of harassment of staff and management lapses.

Ms. Perelli of Uruguay has been praised for her work in organizing elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was considered a rising star in the United Nations. But she was formally accused by the world body in August of harassment following an independent review by a Swiss firm. The review says staff members have been subjected to abuse and sexual jokes and innuendo.

Ms. Perelli will be allowed to appeal her dismissal.

The United Nations has been mired in a series of scandals involving the Iraq oil-for-food program and allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.