The candidates of Egypt, Mexico and Moldova in the race for the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) were yesterday eliminated from the contest, leaving Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and four others to slug it out. The Geneva-based WTO said 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.
The organisation is expected to narrow the field to two final candidates in the coming weeks. The second phase of consultation is scheduled to commence on Thursday, September 24 and run until Tuesday, October 6 after which the WTO will announce two final candidates.
The new DG is expected to be named by November 7 to replace Brazil’s Roberty Azevedo. Azevedo decided to step down at the end of August, a year before his term was due to end. The Saudi candidate, Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri, is a former Minister of Economy and Planning while Liam Fox served as U.K.’s Secretary of State for international trade. Yoo Myung-hee from South Korea was also Trade Minister just as Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril was Kenya’s former International Trade Minister. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, was at different times Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs and former Managing Director of the World Bank.