Ocampo confirms he is retiring to support Ngozi

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.

16 thoughts on “Ocampo confirms he is retiring to support Ngozi

  1. WOW…. Here we are at last. From NOI’s credentials, we all know she is the best candidate for this presidency. But as Ocampo puts it, this is a political exercise. I do not think she will win but i do hope she does. Anyway, the US is showing an example of brazen cronyism. I guess the end justifies the means. Monday shall tell.

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  3. The world would be eagerly watching to see if the Obama led US administration would forget their stale doctrine of merit and democracy on Monday.

    Prof. Ocampo has seen into his ‘crystal ball’ to see how the US would bully other nations to vote for their candidate.

    No America. No, never lecture the world on democracy again!

  4. Ocampo stated “it is clear that it is becoming no longer a competition on the merits of the candidates but a political exercise”

    That could certainly be the case, but let us not therefore exclude the real possibility that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala merits for the post were better than those of Jose Antonio Ocampo, as for instance I believe them to be.

  5. Congratulations to Jose Ocampo for seeing through the maze. Congrats to NOI for putting up a gallant fight.The US may have their way ; but the Worldbank will never be the same again. At the end of the day, it could turn out to be a pyrrhic victory. Kim’s legitimacy may be seriously compromised.

  6. I wonder what the future holds, nothing is ever by merit anymore, there is always the political angle, the racial angle, the tribal angle, the…the…angle. Thank God for capitalism, inheritance is not banned, we can still work hard and save for the generation after us, they might need to hibernate for months!

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  8. The US is overplaying its hand on this one and it will loose big time. Obama has turned out to be no better than any of his predecessors and I believe he is shooting US leadership and interests fatally for imposing Kim despite the glaring fact that he is the second best. I will not vote for Obama a second time this Nov.

  9. Where did this fellow crawl out from? This comment confirms the saying that “it is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt!”

  10. This shows that Ocampo has already seen that the process is rigged and the US is arm twisting many countries to support a candidate that everyone knows isn’t qualified. A Korean UN Secretary General and then a possible Us citizen of Korean descent as World Bank President? Interesting indeed.

    If the US rigs this Kim into the position, it will no longer have the moral authority to preach to any developing country about merit. This action, if taken, will cost the US significant moral capital in the long run. It would also show that the US is hypocritical.

  11. Pingback: World Bank: Ocampo pulls out, endorses Okonjo-Iweala – The World From African Perspective.

  12. Ocampo’s withdrawal from the race? I am not surprised. Nigeria will go to any length to get what it wants, at any cost, after’ll Niger Delta petro-dollar is all it takes. Congrats, Dr. Ocampo; you have hit a jack-pot! You can as well retire from whatever you are doing at the moment, as your life can never be the same again.

  13. He just acted in the most honourable way and earned heaps of respect from me and many others that have been following this process, I sincerely wish that the best wins

  14. First, Congratulations to Ocampo for taking the right decision; congratulations to NOI for receiving the support of such an eminent person; more congratulations to the rest of the developing world that have stood up to challenge the status quo. One thing is for sure – if this process is “rigged” in favor of Kim [as is being planned], his tenure at the bank would lack the requisite legitimacy deserving of such an office.

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