Two vie to lead World Bank after Ocampo pullout

Colombia's Jose Antonio Ocampo withdrew from the race to lead the World Bank on Friday, endorsing Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's challenge against the favored US candidate.

The endorsement likely did little to influence the probable choice of US health expert Jim Yong Kim to be the development bank's next president, especially after Russia came out to endorse Kim.

"It is clear that this is not based on the merits of the candidates but is a political exercise," said the former Colombian finance minister in a public statement.

Ocampo also blamed lack of formal support from his own government, saying that had hindered his ability to garner the backing of other countries.

Always considered a dark horse in the three-way race, Ocampo said he would give his support to Nigerian finance minister and Bank veteran Okonjo-Iweala in the hope of unifying "emerging and developing economies around one candidate."

Earlier Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega indicated BRICS group of large emerging markets -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa would endorse a single candidate later Friday.

"We will take a position together with the BRICS, making a common choice," Mantega said.

But that plan appeared to be shot through when Russia broke ranks, endorsing Kim after he visited Moscow.

"Taking into account professional qualities, experience and the competences of Mr Kim, Russia will support the candidacy of Jim Yong Kim," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was quoted by the Interfax agency as saying.

Brazilian World Bank director Rogerio Studart confirmed Ocampo's departure and acknowledged the BRICS group appeared split despite his country's efforts.

"So one country is trying to get this common position, and another one is giving its own position," he told AFP.

Even so, the BRICS would have had to pull in backing from major European powers to mount a significant challenge to Kim.

Thanks to a tacit agreement, the United States, the Bank's biggest stakeholder, has always chosen its leader, with support from Europe, which in turn nominates the head of the International Monetary Fund.

That is expected to take place again on Monday, when the Bank's directors formally meet to discuss who will replace outgoing president Robert Zoellick, the former US diplomat leaving in June at the end of his five-year term.

The position is crucial for much of the developing world. The president oversees a staff of some 9,000 economists, development experts and other specialists, and a loan portfolio that hit $258 billion in 2011.

Last year the bank committed some $43 billion in new loans and grants, helping diverse countries to develop infrastructure, administration, and key sectors of their economies.

But the bank has been strongly criticized as insensitive to the needs of poorer countries, dictating inappropriate solutions based on the biases of the rich and powerful countries which dominate it.

Peter Chowla of the Bretton Woods Project, which monitors the behavior of the World Bank and IMF, said the process of choosing a Zoellick's predecessor was in appearance more open than in the past.

Behind the scenes, though, "they are going to operate in the same way that they have always operated, which is that the Americans will nominate somebody and the Europeans will support that candidate without any questions asked."

"We still have what is essentially an appointment by the American president," he said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The ‘All You Need’ 2015 Isuzu D-MAX launched
    The ‘All You Need’ 2015 Isuzu D-MAX launched

    Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) just recently introduced the 2015 Isuzu D-MAX pick-up truck at the Clark International Raceway to show that their pick-up model can conquer any kind of terrain.The high-end LS variant and standard LT 4x4 is now equipped with a more powerful engine, the 4JK1-TC (Hi) 2.5-liter engine which with Common Rail Direct Injection and an intercooled Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger. IPC also introduced a new standard ride variant, the LT-X 4x2 manual …

  • Limited Edition Honda CR-V and Jazz now available
    Limited Edition Honda CR-V and Jazz now available

    If you’ve always wanted to be part of an exclusive group of car owners, now might be the time for you to consider getting a Honda CR-V or Jazz.  Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) just came out with their limited edition All New Jazz and New CR-V. …

  • ToyotaPH hit its highest monthly sales last March
    ToyotaPH hit its highest monthly sales last March

    Toyota Motors Philippines hit its highest monthly sales to date last March, registering 10,237 units sold.  This recent CAMPI report puts Toyota’s market share at 43.5% last month. …

  • VolkswagenPH launches Child Safety Initiative
    VolkswagenPH launches Child Safety Initiative

    Volkswagen Philippines just  launched the VW Child Safety Initiative (CSI) campaign which aims to support child safety on Philippine roads at the just concluded Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). The World Health Organization’s road safety facts show about 1.24 million die each year globally as a result of vehicle related accidents. Child restraint systems like child seats and booster seats also reduce risk for children by about 70% for infants and upto 80% for small children. This …

  • Pacquiao pleads for Indonesia to spare death row Filipina
    Pacquiao pleads for Indonesia to spare death row Filipina

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out Monday from final preparations for his $400 million megafight with Floyd Mayweather to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of eight foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

  • Thousands beg Australia not to deport autistic Filipino boy
    Thousands beg Australia not to deport autistic Filipino boy

    A 10-year-old autistic Filipino boy made an emotional plea Monday for permission to stay in Australia, as tens of thousands called for him not to be deported despite the potential cost of his condition. Tyrone Sevilla, who arrived in Australia from the Philippines legally as a two-year-old with his mother Maria Sevilla, has written to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton asking to stay. The letter, which reads: "Dear Mr Dutton, can I stay in Australia please... Tyrone," was the first one her son …

  • Indonesia to look into condemned Filipina's case: Philippines
    Indonesia to look into condemned Filipina's case: Philippines

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo is "sympathetic" about the plight of a Filipina facing death for drug trafficking and has promised to look into her case, a spokesman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Monday after he made a personal appeal. While the comments seemed to indicate a faint prospect of reprieve for Mary Jane Veloso, the Indonesian leader is seen as extremely unlikely to change course on the executions which he has insisted for months are essential to halting a national …

  • Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia
    Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia

    Australia urged Indonesia Monday to ensure the trials of two men sentenced to death on drugs charges were corruption free before their executions go ahead, as family members readied to say their last goodbyes. "Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within days, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke to her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Sunday evening, …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options