16 May 2007
"Embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has caved in to overwhelming pressure, and is set to resign.
Sources close to the Bank say Bush administration officials and executive directors of the World Bank are now finalising the terms of his departure.
Wolfowitz attempted to withstand the inevitable, arguing the pressure to oust him was unfair and would damage the long-term reputation of the bank.
His stance however has done more damage to the institution, and to the United States for its steadfast support in trying to save him his job.
In recent weeks almost every nation, with the exception of the United States and Japan, has expressed concern at Wolfowitz continuing in the job.
A report issued earlier this week by the Ad Hoc Group, a panel of seven of the Bank's 24 Executive Directors, found the World Bank president had breached ethics rules, and the Bank's Code of Conduct, acted in his own interest at the expense of the interest of the Bank, and hid decisions he had made from the Ethics Committee of the Bank.
'He's in a very difficult situation, given the report that came out,' Canada's Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, told a press conference in Ottawa.
At the center of the storm is a series of moves Mr Wolfowitz engaged in to advance the career and remuneration of his friend, Shaha Riza, with whom he was having a romantic relationship.
The Bank was set to dismiss Wolfowitz at a meeting of its Executive Directors on Wednesday, which had continued on from Tuesday, when the United States asked for an adjounrment. At Tuesday's session the Bank's president made a last ditch appeal explaining he had not been treated fairly, and that the blame for what had occurred was partly due to the Bank. He also promised to change his management style and stop taking the advice of a number of Bush administration officials he had brought with him to the Bank.
The U.S. worked tirelessly in recent days to shore up support for Wolfowitz. Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in on Tuesday describing Wolfowitz as one of the best public servants he had encountered in his political career.
Wolfowitz ironically was Donald Rumsfeld's deputy at the Department of Defense before being nominated by Bush to head the World Bank. The administration also stuck by Rumsfeld until he too was forced from office by pressure over his handling of the Iraq war.
Wolfowitz's appointment to the World Bank was greeted with dismay at the time, as he too was instrumnetal not only in the handling of the Iraq war, but was considered by many as one of the chief architects of the decision to wage it.
In fact it was Wolfowitz who first hinted the case the Bush administration made for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was purely a pretext for the war." http://story.malaysiasun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/b8de8e630faf3631/id/249278/cs/1/