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19.05.2005 Business & Finance

ADB Governors push election of President to July

By GNA

From Gideon Sackitey, GNA Special Correspondent Abuja

Abuja, May 19, GNA -The election for the post of President of the African Development Bank Group has been adjourned to July 28 and 29 when the Board of Governors meets again in Tunis to decide on which of the two candidates - Olabisi Ogunjobi of Nigeria and Donald Kaberuka of Rwanda - would lead the continent's premier financial institution. This is to allow for further discussions among the various Boards of Governors to facilitate the impending balloting.

The two failed after six rounds of voting to garner enough votes that could have carried them into the august office.

However, after four hours of deliberations and 96 interventions, the Board of Governors came out to say that none of the two could be decided on at the close of the meetings.

The two candidates are expected to return to re-strategise and canvass for votes.

The Governors had met the whole of Wednesday for almost five hours of voting, but still failed to come out with the much-expected new President.

The voting, which run late into the night, had to be postponed to Thursday.

Various Governors and Alternative Governors, the GNA spoke to were not happy with the clearly divided positions taken by the Regional and Non-Regional Member countries.

They noted that it was a case where even though Mr Ogunjobi was getting the votes of his fellow African states, the Non-Regional Groupings, backed by the United States, were fully behind Mr Kaberuka, who many consider has not much banking experience. Mr Ogunjobi is thought to have some knotty issues within the bank and therefore could not actually have the leadership clout to move the Bank Group forward.

After the fifth round of balloting, Ogunjobi polled the majority of votes from the Regional members where he got 59.40 per cent, while Kaberuka got 40.53 per cent.

But the story was the opposite among Non-Regional members made up of non-African countries. Kaberuka got 58.22 per cent of those expatriate votes while Ogunjobi received 41.79 per cent. In terms of the country-by-country votes, Rwanda was marginally ahead of Nigeria with one vote. While 39 nations voted for Rwanda, Nigeria got the votes of 38 countries.

The voting pattern of the ADB is through the elimination of the candidate with the least vote at every round of votes. The candidate to emerge, as winner must receive at least two-thirds of the 77 votes. Nigeria is ADB's largest shareholder with a total of 197,553 shares, representing, 8.992 per cent of the bank's stake. Rwanda has 3,581 per cent or 0.163 per cent.

Africa's voting power stands at 60.070 per cent while the Non-regional have 39.932. 19 May 05

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