Colombia's Jose Antonio Ocampo ends World Bank bid


Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega (L) talks with the former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo, who has said he is ending his bid to become the World Bank's next president.


Evaristo Sa

Colombia's former finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo is officially out of the running for World Bank president.

Ocampo told Reuters he would withdraw his candidacy so developing nations could rally behind a single nominee who would channge the United States for the job. He said he would throw his support behind Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and hopes emerging market nations will do the same. 

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Ocampo may not get his wish.

Reuters said Russia has already pledged its support to Jim Yong Kim, the US pick to replace current World Bank president Robert Zoellick this summer. 

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The US is used to getting its way when it comes to the World Bank presidency.

Since the World Bank was founded, it has been headed by an American while its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, has been run by a European. But major emerging markets with little World Bank power and big, growing economies have been pushing for a greater say in the process.

Russia is the first of the fast-growing and increasingly powerful BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - to lend its support to the US choice. 

The BRICS had said they would join forces in supporting a single candidate for the World Bank's top job, but Agence France-Presse said Russia's move may have thrown that plan into disarry. 

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