Former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has emerged as the sole candidate for the Director-General position of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) following the withdrawal of South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.
The withdrawal of Myung-hee means that Okonjo-Iweala is officially the sole candidate left in the race for the job.
Yoo Myung-hee, who is South Korea’s trade minister and its candidate for the top job at the WTO following the resignation of Roberto Azevedo, was earlier reported to have withdrawn from the race by Washington Trade Daily back in November 2020.
The US opposition to the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala meant that she was not named the DG of the organisation back in October despite securing the popular vote by a wide margin.
The emergence of Joe Biden as the new US President is seen by many supporters of Okonjo-Iweala as a saving grace due to the opposition of Donald Trump’s administration to her candidacy.
Announcing her decision to quit the race at a press briefing in Seoul, Yoo said, “Due to the prolonged vacancy of the leadership at the WTO, the future of the organization also has become uncertain.
“To speed up the consensus-building among the member countries on selecting a new director-general, I have decided to renounce my candidacy through close cooperation with the United States, our strong ally.
“Washington, which showed strong support for my candidacy, also respects the decision to step down from the race.”