Exclusive: IFAD Executive board 'poised to fire' President Houngbo
ROME -- IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo was under pressure to resign Wednesday following his surprise bid to head the International Labour Organization, diplomatic sources said. The IFAD Executive Board prepared to remove the former Togolese premier from office by force next week, in effect dismissing him for conflict of interest, if he does not stand down, IFAD sources said.
The ILO confirmed officially on its website Tuesday that Houngbo is a registered as candidate to run as director general of the Geneva-based organization against only one other candidate from Australia after a South African would be candidate evidently withdrew from the race to leave the way clear for Houngbo, who was only confirmed for a second term as IFAD president six months ago. China and the OIC are understood to be backing Houngbo in another example of Beijing seeking to increase its influence in international organizations after the recent election of Qu Dongyu as FAO DG.
"Pressure is building on Houngbo to step down," a veteran IFAD watcher told the Italian Insider, "IFAD member states are concerned about the integrity of the institution and also fear of conflict of interest."
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