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If Sarkozy is defeated as French president, there is speculation that Francois Hollande would find a place in his administration for Pascal Lamy, the current director-general of the WTO
By the end of next week, it will be clear who Barack Obama wants to run the World Bank. The job has gone to an American every time it has been up for grabs since the second world war, and in a presidential election year that is not going to change.
There is, though, the possibility that there will be another vacancy at the head of a multilateral organisation if Francois Hollande defeats Nicolas Sarkozy and becomes the next French president. In those circumstances, there is speculation that Hollande would find a place in his administration for Pascal Lamy, the current director-general of the World Trade Organisation, perhaps as finance minister. Lamy’s term at the WTO ends next year, he is flogging a dead horse in trying to conclude the Doha round of trade talks (already into their 11th year), and like Hollande he counts Jacques Delors as one of his mentors.
Of course, this will be entirely theoretical if Sarkozy wins a second term. But if Lamy goes there is talk that Peter Mandelson, a former EU trade commissioner, might get the job. That would mean another top international job going to a developed country, but if developing countries want to avoid this they need to start thinking – now – about putting forward a credible candidate who can bring Doha to a successful conclusion.