See why WTO Snubbed AU, Egypt"s Protest and Defended Okonjo Iweala's Nomination

News reaching out news desk says the World Trade Organization (WTO) has upheld the nomination of Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

According to organization, Okonjo is still very much eligible to contest for the WTO Director General's office despite the African Union disqualifying her nomination to represent Nigeria.

Recall AU condemned Nigeria for violating its rules after replacing its initial candidate with Okonjo-Iweala.

Nigerian authorities in June 2020 had made a last-minute change when they substituted their first-choice candidate, Yonov Agah, for the WTO Director General position with Okonjo-Iweala.

then response to Nigeria’s late change stated that nomination had closed in November 2019 and as a result, Okonjo Iweala's candidacy is invalid.

The decision of AU was fueled by Egypt’s protesting the selection of Okonjo-Iweala as Nigeria's candidate.

In response, Nigeria, however, defended its decision to replace Agah with Okonjo-Iweala, stating such action isn't nomination, but substitution of candidate, so no rule was violated as claimed by AU.

 This disagreement over Okonjo-Iweala rises among AU members leading to not being able to agree on a particular candidate.

According to officials of AU, African continent wanted a single candidate out of Africa

This the AU wanted in order to submit a candidate that will enjoy the backing of all African countries, but Egypt also went ahead and submitted a candidate in the person of Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh.

In February 2020, AU had moved to select a consensus candidate at its ordinary session, but member nations didn't agree on a single candidate.

WTO has come to officially announce that they do not agree with the decision of African Union

According to cable report by WTO, any member nation of WTO has the right to submit a representative.

WTO stated clearly that their rules does not depend on AU's rule, according to WTO, all that is needed to contest for the Director General seat is for a prospective candidate to have the backing of his/her country of origin, and not necessarily AU backing.

Therefore, in the light of this fact, Okonjo-Iweala is qualified to contest.

Recall that when Egypt protested earlier this month of June against Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala, WTO responded by stating that nomination period was still on and haven't closed, so Okonjo-Iweala will be accepted.

However, the stance of AU raised doubt about her qualification hence WTO has again clarified that she is very much qualified to contest.

Furthermore, on the qualification process, a spokesperson for WTO said, “Members shall have one month after the start of the appointment process to nominate candidates.

According to him, nominations shall be submitted by Members only, and in respect of their own nationals.

“Thereafter, the nominated candidates shall then have three months to make themselves known to members and to engage in discussions on the pertinent issues facing the organization.

“Finally, the remaining two months prior to the conclusion of this process shall be dedicated to selecting and appointing one of the candidates.”

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