Wolfowitz waits on World Bank vote

17-05-2007

Wolfowitz waits on World Bank vote
Paul Wolfowitz is seeking a face-saving exit strategy from the World Bank, according to media reports.

The financial institution's president has come under enormous pressure after allegations that he secured a pay rise and promotion for his girlfriend when she was transferred to the US state department in 2005.

As the World Bank board continues to consider whether or not the scandal will damage its reputation more if Mr Wolfowitz stays or goes, the man at the centre of the crisis is reportedly seeking his own way out.

Inside sources say his 'exit strategy' involves the World Bank's ethics board taking a measure of responsibility for not giving him enough advice on whether the pay rise and promotion of his long-term partner, Shaha Riza, was acceptable.

Yesterday Mr Wolfowitz argued that sacking him would affect the reputation of the World Bank itself.

"You still have the opportunity to avoid long-term damage by resolving this matter in a fair and equitable way that recognises that we all tried to do the right thing," he said.

The World Bank's 24-member board may be forced into a vote on whether or not Mr Wolfowitz must resign later today.

Credibility is of vital importance for the international organisation because of the emphasis it places against corruption in deciding which developing countries receive its funding.


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