Okonjo-Iweala scales WTO first voting round

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) members have retained a former Nigerian minister of finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala while removing three candidates from the race to be the next director-general of the body.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that the contestants will reduced to two in the coming weeks.

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

WTO General Council chairman David Walker said in a statement: “Their expertise and high professional and personal qualities are highly valued and respected by all members.”

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 Swizerland-based WTO is expected to name a new DG by November 7.

Asides Okonjo-Iweala, contestants still in the race include Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi Arabia’s former minister of economy and planning; Liam Fox, UK’s former secretary of state for international trade; Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade minister and Amina Jibril, Kenya’s former international trade minister.