Mexico asked to delay the election of a new president for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), key for Latin America, amid the controversy caused for the effort of the president of the USA, Donald Trump, to have a close ally at the head of the institution.
(Also read: They ask to postpone the election of the IDB president)
The Mexican Treasury Secretary announced on Friday her support for a postponement of the vote to choose the replacement of Colombian Luis Alberto Moreno, scheduled for September, and said that the issue requires more dialogue to decide the role of the institution in the middle of the pandemic.
After Mexico’s call, Costa Rica also supported a postponement and said, through a statement from the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Relations, that This will allow a “healthy and profound reflection” on the future of the IDB.
The announcements from Mexico and Costa Rica came after that the European Union (EU) and then Chile expressed their support for a delay in the vote.
Postponing the election would be a setback for Trump, who in June nominated his top adviser for Latin America, Mauricio Claver-Carone, as a candidate to head the Washington-based institution.
(It may interest you: New IDB leadership to strengthen the Americas / Opinion)
The US took the opportunity to nominate him, after the three largest economies in Latin America failed to agree on a candidate.
While Argentina got Mexico’s support for Gustavo Béliz, an adviser to President Alberto Fernández, Brazil planned to present a candidate of its own.
While Claver-Carone comes across as fresh air for an institution that has had only four presidents in six decades, His potential mandate would also mean breaking the tacit tradition that the IDB is headed by a Latin American.
In fact, his nomination drew criticism from former diplomats and politicians in the region, such as former presidents of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Colombian Juan Manuel Santos, who in June wrote a letter urging member countries to reject the candidacy.
Mexico’s statement – which comes a month after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met with Trump in Washington to celebrate the start of a new North American free trade agreement – made no specific mention of the US candidate. USA and He alluded to the inability of the IDB governors to meet in person.
The annual meeting of the bank in March was postponed due to covid-19. While the US is the largest shareholder, with a 30 percent stake, and has a de facto veto based on quorum requirements, whoever wins the election will need the support of more than half of the 28 member countries of the region.
(You may be interested: the US kicks the board with a candidacy for the IDB presidency)
The pandemic has increased the importance of the bank, which plans to lend billions of dollars to help Latin American countries recover.
If Claver-Carone is elected, Trump would have an ally at the IDB for the next five years, even if he loses in the November presidential elections.
BLOOMBERG Y AFP