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The Brazilian Ilan Goldfajn was elected as the new president of the IDB

It was after an agreement between the US, Brazil, Canada and Argentina, which lowered its candidate. Our country was left with a vice presidency.

The Brazilian Ilan Goldfajn was chosen this Sunday as president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) after an agreement between the United States, Brazil, Canada and Argentina, which withdrew the candidacy of Cecilia Todesca Bocco and was left with one of the organization’s vice presidencies, according to official sources.

The election was finalized during a special Assembly of Governors, where the representatives of the member countries voted virtually and in person, and the winner emerged after a negotiation to achieve a regional consensus candidate.

The Brazilian was chosen by consensus, with 80.08% of the votes and the support of 26 countries, including 17 from the region. The second most voted was the Chilean Nicolás Eyzaguirre, with 9.93%. Third, the Mexican Gerardo Esquivel with 8.2%.

Goldfajn, former president of the Central Bank of Brazil, is the current director for the Western Hemisphere of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), now on leave. He is an old acquaintance from Argentina and the one who closely followed the renegotiation of the US$55,000 program with the economy authorities of our country.

As negotiated, Argentina will remain with the Vice Presidency of Sectors; the Infrastructure Management and will also lead the new Gender and Equality Institute which will be part of the new management of the IDB, the sources had anticipated early.

The names for those positions are not yet defined. The presentation of Argentina through the candidate Cecilia Todesca, the first woman to run for office, had a strong seal of gender issues. She stayed all week in Washington.

Negotiations for the replacement of Mauricio Claver Carone, who was dismissed after a scandal for having had an affair with an agency official and having increased her salary by 40%, were very strong throughout this week, at the highest level. The subject was also discussed during the trip of President Alberto Fernández to the G20 in Indonesia.

Finally, a negotiated agreement was obtained with the United States (the largest shareholder of the IDB), Canada, Brazil and Argentina that managed to bless Goldfajn. The Brazilian, a prestigious coach who has always been the Treasury’s favorite candidate, had been proposed by outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro and that complicated things.

After winning the elections and after some initial doubts, the Lula government finally decided to keep the candidate and that facilitated the negotiation. It will be the first time in the history of the IDB that it will have a Brazilian president.

Argentina, which is another of the countries that has never presided over the organization, also wanted that position that Gustavo Béliz had sought unsuccessfully in the past.

In principle, the government sought a regional consensus candidate and Minister Sergio Massa was working on that in Washington during the IMF Assembly in this capital. But Brazil, Mexico and Chile went ahead and presented their own candidates. The Government gambled to wait for Lula to win to present a candidate in conjunction with the region and sought to impose an Argentine.

But the PT leader did not give Goldfajn a thumbs up, far from it since He did not want to lose that precious regional square. In fact, the Brazilian was well regarded among the officials around the future president. The only problem was that he had been chosen by Bolsonaro.

In the end, the government presented Todesca, who was seen more as a bargaining chip. After the US, which has 30% of the IDB’s share capital, Brazil and Argentina are the countries with the most voting power, since they have 11.4% each. It is followed by Mexico with 7.3%.

Time passed and Brazil did not lower Goldfajn and it was difficult for the US to support an Argentine candidate. Argentina had no choice but to endorse the Brazilian and negotiate some vice-presidency and other positions. That’s why he withdrew Todesca’s application early in the morning.

When lowering his candidacy, Todesca pointed out: “We are always looking for a consensus. The region has to work together, the challenges and opportunities are shared and we have also agreed on a work agenda with a perspective and issues that seem strategic for economic development and Social”.

IDB sources told Clarion that Argentina’s arrangement was “good” since they participated in a majority consensus with the organization’s two most important partners –Brazil and the USA– and that they also obtained an important presidency such as that of Sectors. They also said that having presented a woman for the position was valued, despite the fact that she was not elected.

Goldfajn will chair the regional body for a period of five years.

News in Development

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