Three candidates out of the eight vying for the position of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) lost out of the race Friday after failing to accumulate enough support in the first rounds of voting, leaving only five candidates, including Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The candidates that are out of the race as disclosed by are Jesus Seade (Mexico), Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova), and Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt). The candidates were not able to secure the votes needed for the first round of three rounds of voting.
The other four candidates who qualified for the next round of voting alongside Ngozi Okonjo Iweala of Nigeria are Liam Fox (UK), Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril (Kenya), Yoo Myung-hee ( South Korea), and Mohammad Maziad Al-Tuwaijri ( Saudi Arabia).
The former finance minister and international development expert had in August presented some of her plans for the organisation if elected director-general. During the presentation, she disclosed that part of her vision is to build a trade institution where there is greater trust among its members. She also stressed that the WTO, at this critical time, is needed to ensure that trade and global markets remain open.
On her plan towards healing the rift between economic giants and rivals, US and China, Okonjo-Iweala admitted that it is going to be a challenging task but she assured that she would concentrate on areas where there can be confidence-building and trade. According to her, building trust is about harnessing areas where both countries can work together.
Okonjo-Iweala and the four other candidates will present themselves to the members of the WTO for the later stages of voting in the hopes of securing the highest number of votes to succeed the current director-general, Roberto Azevêdo.