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Okonjo-Iweala Maintains Lead In WTO Director General’s Race

There are strong indications that Nigeria’s former Finance Minister and Supervising Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, may become the new Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) come November 7 election result’s announcement date.

News reports on Wednesday indicated that the former minister polled 104 votes from 164 member-countries to defeat her opponent and South Korea’s trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee, at the final stage of the election process.

However, despite Okonjo-Iweala’s impressive score at the polls, news have emerged that the Trump administration said it would not support her emergence as the next WTO’s director-general.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Dennis Shea, was quoted as saying during a meeting of WTO delegates in Geneva that the Trump administration could not support a consensus decision to appoint Okonjo-Iweala for the top WTO job.

To get elected, all WTO decisions are taken by a consensus of its 164 members, which implies that the U.S’ stance may disrupt the process of electing the new Director General

A source quoted an official of the WTO as saying that work will continue to reach a consensus ahead of meeting of the General Council tentatively set for Nov. 9.

Earlier today, the Nigeria’s former finance minister had received a key endorsement from the WTO selection committee.

The Deputy U.S Trade Representative, reportedly said that the U.S. disagreed with the way in which the process was being carried out

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, twice served as Nigeria’s finance minister and has garnered experience working as a former Managing Director of the World Bank and as a chair at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, amongst other international organizations.

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