who will be next World Bank President What will they do


UPDATED. 3 out of 5 Wolfowitz top appointments linked to Bush administration's Iraq strategy. Emad Mekay and Jim Lobe of Inter-Press Service, who've tracked the Bank for a while now, have dug deeper on Wolfowitz's appointments record. They write that of the top five outside international appointments made by World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz "three were senior political appointees of right-wing governments that provided strong backing for U.S. policy in Iraq". A commentator has just written to worldbankpresident.org adding to the list of similar appointments.

The latest appointment was last month when former Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher was named senior vice president for external affairs. In that post he must be a very busy man. In 2002 Muasher served as King Abdullah of Jordan's ambassador in Washington in the run-up to the Iraq war and reportedly played a key role in ensuring Amman's co-operation in the March 2003 invasion.

The other appointments explored by Mekay and Lobe in their piece are those of former Spanish foreign minister Ana Palacio (as the Bank's senior vice president and general counsel) and former Salvadoran Finance Minister Juan Jose Daboub (as one of the Bank's two managing directors).

Many people may feel that these types of political appointments are potentially more serious abuses of power than the Riza affair that is at the centre of the current controversy.

For Wolfowitz's appointments of Kevin Kellems and Robin Cleveland, see my previous post.

UPDATE, Saturday 13.45 EST
Someone has written in from Washington (thanks) to tell me: "Actually Mekay and Lobe missed a few... Wolfowitz appointed the Senior VP for Finance, Vincenzo La Via - an Italian. In addition, even those who were selected from within the Bank to senior positions, such as the new VP for Middle East North Africa, who is also Italian, all have this common denominator. In short, all senior Bank positions have been going to people from countries who were either members of the Coalition of the Willing, or strong supporters (as in the case of Jordan)".

And a separate writer has pointed to the appointment of Suzanne Folsom, who was named Director of the Department of Institutional Integrity by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz on January 17. She is the wife of George Folsom, President of the International Republican Institute, Ms. Folsom's main responsibility as head of the World Bank's anti-corruption unit will be the investigation of allegations of fraud and corruption associated with World Bank projects. See more.

Alex Wilks ~ April 14, 2007

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