World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz resigns

Published: Friday 15 June 2007

world Bank president Paul Wolfowitz on May 17 announced his "much-awaited" resignation following a protracted controversy over a generous pay and promotion package for his colleague Shaha Riza. According to Wolfowitz, he resigned in the "best interests" of the bank. He will remain in office until June 30.

"I have concluded that it is in the best interests of those whom this institution serves. That mission has to be carried forward under a new leadership," Wolfowitz said in a statement after three days of deliberations by the World Bank board. "The poorest people of the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa deserve the very best that we can deliver," Wolfowitz said.

But for the African nations, Wolfowitz is a "hypocrite". Local news reports could not wait to highlight the fact that "Mr Wolfowitz was the anti-corruption World Bank president". Reports and analyses said that he came to the bank on a high-flying mission to fight official corruption in third world states, including Kenya. "And, even though it was petty, Wolfowitz's corrupt intervention on behalf of his girlfriend exposed him as a pathetic hypocrite devoid of any morality to lead the bank", said reports.

There was enormous scepticism over Wolfowitz's management style among European bank members because he "brought former Bush administration officials with him". There were suspicions that Wolfowitz was on his way to recreating the autocratic style with which he gained notoriety as the former us deputy defence secretary and an architect of the Iraq war. His appointment by us president George Bush was always held controversial.

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