WTO Director-General election all set for a tough battle
The WTO Director General (DG) is chosen by 159 members (on March 2, 2013) of the organisation. Like all WTO decisions, the aim is to reach a consensus through a process of extensive consultations. There is also a fall-back voting procedure but this has never been resorted to despite failures with the consensus based system – the most memorable one in 1999 when one term was split between Mike Moore (former Prime Minister of New Zealand) and Supachai Panitchpakdi from Thailand.
When France's Pascal Lamy was first elected in 2005, the other candidates in the race were from Latin America (Uruguay and Brazil) and Africa (Mauritius). This time round, it is widely believed that it is now the turn of a candidate from either of these regions to lead the WTO Secretariat.
If one accepts the argument for geographical rotation of the DG post, the next question that comes to mind is whether Africa or Latin America will be able to rally behind a common strong candidate?
Given the difficult environment in which WTO is currently operating, it may surprise a few that the leadership battle this time could be a hotly contested one. The WTO needs a strong hand
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