Ashraf Ghani joins the race

FT has the story:

Ashraf Ghani, the former Afghan finance minister, is expected to make a late entry into the race to succeed Kofi Annan as secretary-general of the United Nations, taking the number of formally declared candidates to seven.

Mr Ghani, 57, will declare his candidacy this afternoon in a meeting with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, who is visiting the US.

I hope to win, through ideas,” Mr Ghani told the Financial Times in New York. “In the public debate so far, I have yet to see a clear articulation of vision, an analysis of the central issues and a programme for change.”

We have heard Ghani speak. He has the ideas. He is all management expertise and ideas and little politics. Indeed, FT quotes one of his acquaintences on this point:

“Ashraf wants to reform the whole international aid system and has some fantastic ideas,” said an acquaintance. “But given that he blows up at even his closest friends, I can’t see him as the world’s leading peace-maker.”

As Karzai’s Finance Minister, he did a number of tremendous things, but we wonder if his record is too “neo-liberal”. Indeed, FT quotes Hernando de Soto, a favorite economist of the right:

“The UN would be very lucky indeed to get him,” said Hernando de Soto, economist and founder of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima.

2 Responses to “Ashraf Ghani joins the race”

  1. MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan Says:

    I as an Afghan find this race quite interesting in that the US is in a tight corner–it has to pick its option from among the Korean, the Indian and the Afghan–all of whom it regards as ‘close friends.’

    In addition, I would advise Mr. Ghani to stop bidding for the position; the 30% population of Kabul, which relies on aid money for sustenance, desperately needs those dollars he is spending. However, I also believe it is time someone who has a genuine interest in the affairs of that country became Secretary General; and, Mr Ashraf Ghani, a highly educate man of brilliant ideas, seems to be an apt candidate.

  2. Insha Allaha Says:

    If Mr. Ghani who limited his service to Afghanisthan & became Finance Minister, worked just as a special advisor to UN only after September 11th, without dedicating to the whole world through out his life time of 28 yrs like Mr. Tharoor, can aspire to be UNSG, i wonder what should Mr. Tharoor deserves for?Is there any job like Father Of UNSG?

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