Colombian pulls out of World Bank race
Bogota - Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo withdrew on Friday from the race to lead the World Bank, calling the process a "political exercise" unrelated to candidate merits, Colombian media reported.
The former Colombian finance minister also blamed lack of formal support from his own government, saying that had hindered his ability to garner the backing of other countries, according to a statement published by the Colombian media.
"It is clear that this is not based on the merits of the candidates but is a political exercise," he said in the statement, referring to the widespread expectation that the US candidate would be chosen.
"In this I am at a disadvantage by the lack of support from my own government and how this has prevented me from garnering political support for my candidacy."
Ocampo, currently professor at Columbia University in New York and always considered a dark horse in the three-way race, said he would give his support to Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, now the sole challenger to US candidate Jim Yong Kim.
But Kim, a physician and university president, is expected to easily gain the post next week with the overwhelming backing of the Bank's largest shareholder, the United States, and Japan and the European bloc.