Nomination day – 2, 3 or 4 way race?

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….

2 thoughts on “Nomination day – 2, 3 or 4 way race?

  1. Just for the purpose of clarity, those nominating Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are as much from developing countries than those nominating Jeffrey Sachs , or perhaps even more.

    If Jeffrey Sachs has a better chance than Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would that be because he represents the developing countries better or because he is an American and she is not? If the latter, is this outsourcing?, and would this not imply that next time around, we from the developing countries, need to launch an early search for a good short list of American candidates, or even send someone over to the USA early to try to get a citizenship

  2. Neither has a chance against a credible American candidate, who will get both European and MIC support, at least from China and India.

    There is little enthusiasm in Washington for Ngozi’s third act to the Bank. She did a great job leading the recent IDA Replenishment, but her internal performance, many believe, left much to be desired. Should she be nominated, there will be lots of calls to journalists on staff members’ cellphones, and emails from their non-Bank accounts.

    The alleged support of Nigeria’s President Goodluck for her candidacy may also reflect a lack of enthusiasm for the outspoken zest and impressive rigor Ngozi again brings to her role in Abuja as coordinating minister, as well as unease from national kleptocrats who would love to see her again move to the world/TED stage. Business as usual is fine with them.

    Ngozi’s strong performance bringing Nigeria to its rightful role as a stable, successful African economic dynamo would position Ngozi well to take the helm at the World Bank next time should she be interested. Or stand as the first woman president of her own nation.

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