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.