As we closed the World Bank president poll this week, over 15,000 people had voted for their favourite developing country candidate.
The result? Well, our friends in Indonesia came out in force, resulting in a landslide victory for Sri Mulyani Indrawati, an Indonesian economist and one of the current Managing Directors of the World Bank Group, who beat her opponents with a staggering 87% of the votes.
The runner up, Kemal Derviş, former World Bank staff and Turkish Prime Minister, currently the Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution, started off in a favourable position but was unable to keep up and was left with only 8% of the votes.
Michelle Bachelet, the first female president of Chile and currently head of UN Women, came third with 2% of the votes.
The full list is:
- Sri Mulyani Indrawati (87%, 13,070 Votes)
- Kemal Derviş (8%, 1,140 Votes)
- Michelle Bachelet (2%, 260 Votes)
- Other (1%, 155 Votes)
- Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva (1%, 118 Votes)
- Jairam Ramesh (1%, 117 Votes)
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (1%, 91 Votes)
- Marina Silva(0%, 46 Votes)
- Trevor Manuel (0%, 38 Votes)
- Luisa Diogo (0%, 19 Votes)
So, will the poll make a mark on the official selection process? Well, it has certainly caused some stir (and not just in Indonesia). Not only did Paddy Power, the bookmaker, cover all our candidates, others have also taken a keen interest in our suggestions. In India, our nominee Jairam Ramesh made headlines as a potential candidate and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was most recently promoted as a deserving candidate by the Centre for Global Development.
Other developing country names that didn’t make our list have also started bubbling. In Bangladesh, the president’s suggestion that Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus should be nominated caused a media frenzy in the region. Other new names suggested through our site or others include Andrew Sheng, advisor for the China Banking Regulatory Commission , Nandan Nilekani, the Indian co-founder of INFOSYS, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, Mahmoud Mohieldin, Managing Director of the World Bank, Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the head of India’s Planning Commission, to name a few.
The lack of Chinese candidates was also picked up, suggesting Li Ruogu, Sha Zukang, Yi Gang and Shengman Zhang, as potentials.
Count down is on. In the words of Paul O’Brien of Oxfam America, at the end of the day the post should go to “the best woman or man for the job.” But without an open and merit based selection process, how are we to know?