WTO drops three candidates, retains Okonjo-Iweala


World Trade Organization members have removed three candidates from the race to be the next Director-General of the body.

According to the organization, Mexico’s Jesus Seade, Egypt’s Hamid Mamdouh, and Moldova’s Tudor Ulianovschi didn’t secure enough support in a first of three rounds of voting.

In a statement on Friday, WTO General Council Chairman, David Walker said their expertise and high professional and personal qualities are highly valued and respected by all members, just that they didn’t garner enough votes.

The organization said it will also reduce the contestants to two final candidates in the coming weeks.

The second phase of consultations would begin on September 24 and run until October 6 after which the WTO would announce two final candidates.

The Geneva-based organization will finally name a new leader by November 7.

Nigeria’s former finance minister and former Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala still remained in the race.

The others are, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi Arabia’s former minister of economy and planning; Liam Fox, the UK’s former secretary of state for international trade; Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade minister; and Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril, Kenya’s former international trade minister.

The vacancy arose when Brazilian director-general, Roberto Azevedo, decided to step down at the end of August, a year before his term was due to end.


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