The European Union (EU) will not support Kenya’s candidate for World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general job Amina Mohamed, it has emerged.
Instead, the member states have agreed to support Nigeria’s and Korea’s candidates for the top job, even as the campaigns enter the homestretch.
According to sources qouted by Bloomberg, EU member-country envoys agreed on Monday in Brussels to endorse Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, and Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s trade chief for the top job.
This comes as a blow to Kenya’s Ms Mohamed, who has received support from East African countries, which might not be enough to sail her through as WTO is set to announce two finalists today. The winner will be announced on November 7.
Amina will have lost the support of at least 27 countries that subscribe to EU.
Amina, a former Kenyan ambassador to the WTO and the first woman to chair the WTO’s General Council in 2005, until the development was considered a front runner in the race to replace Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo who is stepping down a year early.
Only five candidates are remaining in the race currently.
WTO has three main functions: help negotiate multilateral trade deals, settle cross-border commercial squabbles and serve as a repository for members’ trade policies.