Why opposition to the man Trump wants as president of the World Bank might succeed


US President Donald Trump’s nomination for Under Secretary of the Treasury David Malpass To become the President of the World Bank Group and the CEO of a company World Bank African leaders and other large borrowers should view it as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Under one scenario, the United States could still secure a majority of votes for its candidate, as it has done in every bank presidential election since the foundation was elected. Founded in 1944. But this should not be seen as a pariah given how wet previously solid relationships were, mainly due to Trump’s erratic behavior. Even the European allies of the United States, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have shown a willingness to openly criticize Trump and his policies in unheard ways. Since World War II.

Added to this is concerns about Trump’s misguided views – shared by Malpass – that multilateral institutions are hostile to US interests. As New York Council’s foreign relations expert Stuart Patrick argues, the appointment of Malpass could undermine the bank’s priceless business. around the world.

Is it possible to prevent his candidacy and how?

There are four reasons why opposing a Trump candidate is easier than it seems at first glance.

Opposing Trump’s choice

The first reason is that Trump may not be in office any longer. Its polling numbers are still on Historic bottoms. His legal troubles The escalation continues And clear to voters. And with the Democrats Now in control From the US House of Representatives, they have summoning powers to investigate allegations of Trump’s wrongful actions and conflicts of interest, as well as Political weaknesses.

Second, reforms in the nomination and appointment of bank chiefs in 2011 led to the first opening of the process in 2012. Then there was Three finalists – Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Colombian Jose Antonio Ocampo and US candidate Jim Yong Kim.

In the end Kim got the job Against the background of the nomination of President Barack Obama at the time. It helps to note that both Kim and Obama enjoy much more international support than Malpass and Trump today.

Third, an important precedent was set last year when Trump was the candidate to head the International Organization for Migration at the bank unacceptable By members of the United Nations. The main reason is that his anti-Muslim statements were considered to be contrary to his inclusion policies. It was an unprecedented rejection – the office had been led by Americans since the 1960s.

The rejection of Malpass would be a second victory for those who believe that all top leadership positions in the world must be decided on the basis of merit and more inclusive representation.

The final reason there is hope for the Malpass refusal is that the power dynamics of the bank have changed dramatically in the past eighty years roughly. The United States has always justified its authority to choose the president on the grounds that it is the bank’s largest shareholder.

This was true when the bank began operations in the 1940s. Then the United States held out 35.07% among only 38 members. Today, the bank belongs to 193 countries and the US voting share is 15.98%.

However, denying the United States a majority vote is a challenge. The head of the bank is chosen by 25 directors, most of whom represent the regional groups. The traditional allies of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan control 18.48% and there is a long-standing understanding that their support for America’s candidates for the bank, The United States will respond in kind Through European support for the presidency of the International Monetary Fund.

But this is no longer necessarily fail-safe for America. Trump’s relations are strained with many of the United States’ allies. Directors representing groups from African countries, Latin America and Asia may find that the majority of their members are willing to oppose the United States.

Voting scenarios suggest banning Malpass is politically possible. But achieving this requires positive, deliberative and comprehensive measures.


The nominations period starts on February 7 and ends on March 14. Malpass was the first entry, as Trump presumably hoped to dampen competition. With only weeks left, any member wishing to nominate one of their own should be encouraged to do so.

The names of potential candidates already raised in media reports include Donald Kaberuka from RwandaAnd the Sri Moliani Indrawati Indonesia. Others reached the 2012 finals, Ocampo and Okonjo-Iweala. Others worthy of attention from Africa, Asia and Latin America may be waiting in the wings.

The United States will likely argue that to ensure a smooth transition, a new president must be named before 9-14 April 2019 Annual Meeting A member of the World Bank in Washington.

But this is no longer a problem. Under the 2011 reforms, there is now an interim president, who is much appreciated Kristalina Georgieva Bulgaria. She is fully capable of running the bank while all candidates are carefully vetted for their personal integrity and professional accomplishments.

The search for a new bank president should also allow input from many large national and international civil society organizations that are vital partners.

A leader the World Bank needs

Malpass’ reputation, despite its ownership, does not need to be denigrated Negative views of pluralism And the lack of a positive agenda for the World Bank. Most importantly, it is to find a consensus candidate who has the skills and practical insights needed for the bank to better support much-needed programs in Africa and other countries.

There are also huge infrastructure needs that the bank can meet. They need rapid response capabilities to help countries cope with natural disasters and sudden epidemics.

If a search driven by these concerns succeeds, bank supporters could inadvertently thank Trump for encouraging their efforts.

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