Nominations close at 6pm Washington time today – that’s 10pm GMT. Two candidates appear definite.
Columbia University’s Jeff Sachs says he’s in, nominated by a collection of developing countries. Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will face him, nominated by the South African consituency, which includes her home country and Angola. Slightly unbelievably, the US is yet to make up its mind which of an unimpressive list of second tier candidates it wants to choose.
But what of former Colombian finance minister, Jose Antonio Ocampo? Reuters correspondent, Lesley Wroughton – consistently the best informed journalist on these issues it seems to me – summarises his dilemma well:
While Ocampo had agreed to stand and Brazil was willing to nominate him, Colombian Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry said on Thursday that Colombia was instead focusing on a bid for the presidency of the International Labor Organization.
He said that effort had a greater chance of success than going for the World Bank job, because Colombia already held the top post at the Inter-American Development Bank.
“The Colombian government has to concentrate exclusively on a candidate that has possibilities of success,” he said.
However, surprises may still be in store. Last year we had a last minute entrant for the IMF race, who was then immediately ruled out on grounds of age (that can’t happen here, the Bank is less ageist than the Fund). Watch this space….