Another quiet knife has been stuck into the gentleman’s agreement which has until now given the U.S. government the right to appoint the World Bank president. The Brazilian government representative at the Bank – Otaviano Canuto – has asked that the process of selecting the new Bank chief be opened up. In a note to colleagues on the board, he said the board should be allowed to chose between more than one candidate, based on merit. The board meets today to consider the process for selecting the new president.
Mr Canuto, who represents Brazil, the Philippines, Colombia and five other Latin American and Caribbean states, stated: “I believe that in the current juncture it is of utmost importance that we proceed with an open, democratic and transparent process … based on the merits of a plurality of candidates regardless of nationality”.
The FT has the Brazil story. It says the circle of differing approaches to selecting the Bank leader could perhaps be squared by allowing the U.S. to propose a shortlist from which the Bank’s board chooses.
That sounds very reasonable – too reasonable in fact to be a likely outcome to such a highly charged appointment process. Today’s board meeting will certainly be another interesting one.
For more on the process of selecting the World Bank president, see this listing of posts.