The Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Idrissu, has described as “painful and regrettable”, the failure of Mr Alan Kyeremateng to sail through the first round of the selection process for the position of Director General at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Mr Idrissu said it was sad and disappointing that Mr Kyeremanteng, a former Minister of Trade and a man with “presidential potential”, could not garner adequate support to move into the next stage, despite boasting the support of the African Union (AU).
Speaking on Accra based radio station, Joy FM, Tuesday morning, he said Mr Kyeremateng‘s candidacy had enjoyed “enormous” and “tremendous” support from “government and all our missions across the country”.
“He was Africa’s candidate. President Mahama and the foreign ministry strongly supported him to become the AU’s man for the job,” he added.
Mr Idrissu said the government had expressed reservations about the voting procedure that led to Mr Kyeremateng’s disqualification.
“We were told that each candidate was supposed to vote for a maximum number of four candidates, but we found out that some people voted for five. We raised questions but were told that that didn’t impact the elections,” he said.
Mr idrissu also noted that Kenya’s decision to put up a candidate of her own could have adversely affected Mr Kyeremateng’s bid, as, according to him, it created the impression that Africa was divided on its choice of candidate.
“Kenya should not have put forward their candidate, though they have the right”, he said, adding, however, that the Kenyan’s were also disappointed at the failure of their candidate, Amina Mohamed, to progress to the next stage.
Mr Iddrisu said the government in consultation with Mr Kyeremanteng had agreed to withdraw the latter’s bid instead of proceeding with an official protest.
According to a Reuters News Agency report, the race for the WTO Director General position now includes two Latin Americans – Mexico’s Herminio Blanco and Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo – and three candidates from the Asia-Pacific: New Zealand’s Tim Groser, South Korea’s Taeho Bark and Indonesia’s Mari Pangestu.
Story Samuel K. Obour/Graphic.com.gh