The White House continues to stand by World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, despite a panel's findings that he broke rules by promoting his girlfriend
Last updated at 12:25pm on 10th May 2007
Senior U.S. Democrats urged President George W. Bush to step in to end the "historic crisis" over Paul Wolfowitz's World Bank leadership as pressure mounted for him to resign to avoid a possible divisive vote.
The World Bank's 24-nation board of member countries is set to meet on Friday to decide Wolfowitz's fate over a controversial pay and promotion deal that he approved in 2005 for his companion, bank Middle East expert Shaha Riza.
The board is divided. European countries are pushing for Wolfowitz to step down and the United States is shoring up support for him among a clutch of allies like Canada and a few Asian and African countries.
In a letter to Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democratic Sens. Patty Murray, Richard Durbin and Charles Schumer warned that the crisis was damaging the institution and undermining U.S. interests, especially its traditional role in choosing the bank's president.
"We urge you to take decisive action quickly to bring this crisis to a close," they told Bush, echoing concerns expressed by other prominent Democrats, including presidential candidates Bill Richardson and John Edwards.
This is about a lot more than Shaha Riza
Jan 20, 2006
Paul Wolfowitz Busy Neo-Conning the World Bank: Staff Rebellion Brewing
According to one senior insider who feels as if Wolfowitz is gut-punching the most talented teams at the bank and indicated that morale is plummeting, "Wolfowitz just does not talk to his Vice Presidents. He speaks to a few close advisors -- Kevin Kellems, Robin Cleveland, Karl Jackson, some others -- but a lot of very good people are leaving