Senior Treasury Department official David Malpass has been handpicked by United States president Donald Trump as a candidate to head the World Bank.
It is expected that Malpass would alter the focus of the international bank and one of the changes would be to focus on to financing the poorest countries if his candidature is approved.
The nomination of Malpass has created some debate because many believe that he is an oppose of the concept of the Bank itself and therefore could try and reduce the role of the bank in the international market.
A long-time Republican, Malpass, a long-time Republican, would be a “pro-growth reformer”, the White House has said.
Malpass was praised as a “strong advocate for accountability at the World Bank for a long time” by Trump in a press conference in Washington.
Trump, a leader who is also known to be opposed to the roles played by some of the multilateral institutions, has also said that he believes that if Malpass heads the World Bank, he would make sure that finances of the of the bank “are spent effectively and wisely, serve American interests and defend American values.”
During the 2016 election campaign, Malpass was the senior economic adviser to the then presidential candidate Trump and is known as a Trump loyalist. Since August 2017, he had also been given the role of the under secretary of the US Treasury Department’s division or international affairs. The role and functions of the World Bank have been criticised by 62-year-old Malpass and has criticised it for being “intrusive” and “entrenched”. The Bank was also pushed to reduce its lending to China by Malpass because he argues that China is far too wealthy and economically strong to be considered for funding by the Bank. He is also known to stress on implementation of harsh practices in case of lending to other countries by the Bank.
Traditionally, the US has chosen the candidate to be the president of the World Bank because the America is the largest shareholder of the bank and is amongst the largest financers also. Since the formation of the World Bank back in the 1940s, it has always been led by an American. The Bank was created for helping in revival of Europe after World War II. However in recent decades, the rise of other countries has given rise to the demand for further and more diversification of the leadership of the World Bank.
It is not yet certain whether opposing names and candidates would be proposed and brought up as president of the Bank by other member countries that can challenge Malpass.
There are a total of 189 members in the World Bank and it would accept names for the role of president until 14 March following which a shortlist of up to three possible candidates would be created by it. The voting for the president would be undertaken during the executive board meeting in April.
16 per cent of the 25-member board’s voting power is controlled by the US.
(Adapted from BBC.com)