The President of the World Bank has reiterated his refusal to resign over what he says are unfair accusations of nepotism. Paul Wolfowitz hit back at critics who he alleged were conducting a smear campaign against him. His statement was made to a panel investigating whether he broke rules by arranging a pay and promotion deal for his partner.
There was a ringing endorsement from US President George W. Bush. “My position is that he ought to stay, he ought to be given a fair hearing. And I appreciate the fact that he has advanced, he has helped the World Bank recognise that the eradication of world poverty is an important priority for the Bank,” he said.
The former deputy US Defence Secretary has faced mounting opposition since he took the job in 2005. His critics say he relies too heavily on the counsel of former White House and Pentagon officials.
The controversy has prompted concern that the bank’s mission of helping the poor could be damaged.