[Debate] Gordhan questions World Bank election process
Riaz K Tayob
riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 20:24:52 BST 2012
[Nice to have some independence, at least until the debt bites
conditionalities ... at least he is making hay while the shun sines....]
Gordhan questions World Bank election process
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Apr 16 2012 16:02
GORDHAN QUESTIONS WORLD BANK ELECTION
Serious doubt exists about the transparency of the process in electing
the next World Bank president, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on
"From what I've heard there are serious concerns about the level of
transparency," Gordhan told the Foreign Correspondents Association in
Directors of the World Bank will meet later in Washington DC, in the
United States, on Monday to decide on the next president. The two
candidates are Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the US
candidate, Dr Jim Yong Kim, an Asian-American public health expert and
head of Dartmouth University.
The third candidate -- Jose Antonio Ocampo, Colombia's former finance
minister and a professor at New York's Colombia University -- withdrew
South Africa, and the rest of Africa, supported Okonjo-Iweala's
candidacy. However, it was widely expected that the US candidate would
win. The US had always chosen the candidate since the World Bank was
established in 1944. In turn, a European always headed the International
Monetary Fund. This was the first time ever that there was a challenger.
Question the process
Gordhan said the World Bank had met one criteria of democracy in that
anyone could nominate anybody. However, he questioned whether the
process followed after that had been democratic and transparent.
"The invitation was open to anybody to nominate a candidate ... the
question is whether the process subsequent to that has followed through
on the basis of democratic tenets."
He questioned whether all candidates were given a chance to meet the
position's merit-based criteria.
"I think we're going to find this process falls short of this criteria."
Gordhan said the world would wait for the announcement to see whether
the World Bank had "improved its legitimacy".
"The world will be waiting to see whether the World Bank has improved
its legitimacy, has broadened its base of participation in terms of
candidates, to the extent to which established powers are willing to
Current president, Robert Zoellick (58) would leave the institution at
the end of his five-year term in June. -- Sapa
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