Ocampo released a communiqué confirming that in order “to facilitate the desired unity of the emerging and developing economies around a candidate” he is retiring from the race to support the Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, “to whom I wish the best of luck in this final stage”.
He expressed “it has been an honour to participate in this competition” and said he is pleased that the Board has evaluated his candidacy as one of the strongest and recognised the contributions he made to the process.
He also argued that despite his merits he faced disadvantages for lacking political support:
However, as we approach the final phase of this process, it is clear that it is becoming no longer a competition on the merits of the candidates but a political exercise. In this exercise I am at a disadvantage by the lack of support from the government of my country, and by how this has hindered the political support to my candidacy.
Although this selection does not fully represent an open, transparent and merit-based process, it has established the precedent that the election of President of the World Bank has to be different. I hope that the Board of the Bank reflects on this experience and sets much more democratic rules for the next election. For me it is very satisfying that my candidacy has helped to sow the seeds for a better system of governance of the most important institution for development co-operation in the world.
(Full Statement Ocampo in Spanish)
Update (21:10 GMT): Ocampo’s full statement in English is now available.