|Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's Finance Minister|
US officials have acknowledged that giving up the World Bank presidency will make it difficult for the White House to obtain funding from Congress for the global lender, especially with lawmakers worried about mounting budget deficits.
Besides, the US has also argued that it does not head any other global organisation.
The Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, believes Jim Yong Kim, the US nominee to lead the World Bank, will win broad international support despite an unprecedented challenge by candidates from emerging economies.
Okonjo-Iweala, Ocampo and Kim had earlier been nominated for the position.
Reuters reports that Washington’s hold on the World Bank presidency is being contested for the first time by candidates from emerging economies.
“We expected that to happen and think it is healthy for the institution as a whole,” Geithner said. “But I can tell you from my conversations with developing and developed countries, I am confident he (Kim) will win broad support.”
Kim, a Korean-American health expert, is well known among development experts for his work in fighting HIV/AIDS and bringing health care to the poor. President Barack Obama nominated him for the World Bank presidency on Friday.
“The president was looking for a candidate who could command broad support across the world,” Geithner told Reuters in an interview released on Saturday. “That’s very important, because we don’t make this decision alone.”
“Dr. Kim’s mix of skills will be particularly compelling to the bank at this time and I think the world will be very impressed with him,” he said.
Emerging economies such as China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Russia have sought to use their growing economic clout to pry open the selection process for the heads of the World Bank and its sister organisation, the International Monetary Fund.
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