The coast seems to be clear for Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to emerge as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as her only rival, South Korean Yoo Myung-hee is set to pull out of the race.
According to Washington Trade Daily’s report, South Korea has decided to withdraw its candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, from the WTO top job in a bid to enable the General Council of WTO appoint Okonjo-Iweala.
The report stated further that South Korea had already informed the US of its decision and is expected to make the decision public soon.
The report further stated: “Washington refused to accept the recommendation made by the selection panel chaired by General Council Chair Ambassador David Walker that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is the candidate most likely of the two to attract consensus because she clearly carried the largest support by members in the final round and clearly enjoyed broad support from members from all levels of development and from all geographic regions and has done so throughout the process.
“Yoo from Korea failed to receive enough support from members of all levels of development that is developed, developing and least developing countries, as well as geographically in comparison to the ‘largest’ support received by Mrs Okonjo-Iweala.”
It should be recalled that Okonjo-Iweala had gotten the popular vote by a very wide margin on October 28 but she was not named DG because the United States opposed her candidacy.
During the October 28 meeting, WTO said Okonjo-Iweala had the best chance of getting a consensus.
A general council meeting scheduled to hold on November 8 to consider the appointment of the next DG was postponed but another general council meeting has been scheduled for December 17 to conclude the process.