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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Farce Continues

The ongoing farce over Paul Wolfowitz, the embattled soon to be ex president of the World Bank, continues.

The meeting of the World Bank's executive board adjourned last night, without a decision on Wolfowitz's future.

The bank's board spent the day discussing the report on Wolfowitz, and issued the following statement:

"The executive directors of the World Bank group continued their deliberations on issues raised by the report of the ad hoc group and in their meetings with Mr Wolfowitz yesterday. They will continue their deliberations tomorrow morning."

The committee is expected to endorse the report, and call for Wolfowitz's resignation.

Wolfowitz doesn't publicly, as yet, want to go quietly. His lawyer, Robert Bennett, suggested that Wolfowitz was happy to force the board into a showdown:

"Mr Wolfowitz will not resign under this ethical cloud and he will rather put this matter to a full vote."

This show of bravado is of course a negotiating tactic, designed to maximise his payoff and public plaudits when he actually resigns later this week.

Germany's development minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul summed it up succinctly:

"...would do the bank and himself a great service if he resigned. That would be the best for all involved."

Wolfowitz's tenure is over, such is the price for breaking ethical guidelines.

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