Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Vote for the Next WB President

MONTREAL – May 31, 2007 –The Social Justice Committee is polling people via the internet for their input on who should be the next World Bank president.

The web page asks users to provide their choice for the new president, give their nationality, and promise to vote only once. The results of the poll will be sent to the Canadian Minister of Finance.

“My personal vote is for Stephen Lewis,” said SJC Director Derek MacCuish. “I think he suits the criteria the World Bank’s Executive Directors have just set out – which we hope they’ll follow. But there are certainly lots of other good candidates out there, and we want to find out who they are.

The poll will close June 15, when the World Bank’s Board of Governors will make the final decision on the nomination. Although the World Bank governors have always accepted the United States’ nominations in the past, the stated Canadian government’s policy is for a “transparent, merit-based” process (according to the most recent report to Parliament on World Bank and IMF issues). We expect the Minister will push for other nominees to be considered.

If it is serious about getting a candidate that meets their criteria of ‘leadership, management and government reform experience, a commitment to development and multilateral cooperation, and finally political objectivity and independence,’ the World Bank needs to reform the selection process. Reform recommendations made in April 2001 have been ignored.

“The US administration has lost too much credibility to make its appointment of Robert Zoellick unchallenged,” MacCuish said. “So if the World Bank won’t follow its own reform guidelines, it’s time to look for alternatives.”

People can register their choice for World Bank president at www.worldbankpresident.ca

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