It's not about the candidature of Michel Kazatchkine, with him it was clear in early January, when the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced a new shortlist in its second attempt to elect an Executive Director (actually, already in late October I found very interesting the observation of the Boston Globe (oh, this Boston Globe!) that "Kazatchkine has been the most aggressive in seeking the post").
So, once the new shortlist appeared with Kazatchkine's name – the only name from the previous runners-up – it was really easy to get who would be a No.1, despite the rumors on David Nabarro that were spread right before the Fund's Board's final decision. Check out the shortlist-2006 and shortlist-2007.
Some observations are proffered.
It was indeed interesting to watch how simultaneous races for the top leadership posts in the Global Fund and WHO developed and mutually influenced, thus providing certain transparency in these processes. You could compare the selections and see their advantages/disadvantages (like the WHO's very politicized choosing of the DG and a sort of inclusive – in terms of composition of the Fund's Board – selection of the Executive Director. On the other hand, while they were free to choose, all WHO contenders agreed to publicly provide their platforms; and certain candidates for the Fund's top post rejected this idea). Discussions on that can be found in the blogs of the Center for Global Development.
The race for Global Fund's top post was explicitly peppered by the Boston Globe allegation in inappropriate expenditures by the Fund's current head. And though the Fund's vigorous responses practically nailed the accusation, suspicions arose on whether the article had a practical aim about the election. The same idea seems to take place with regard to the incumbent WMO SG who is to be re-elected in May in
A curious pattern has been made by the participation of at least two contenders, Julio Frenk and Bernard Kouchner, in both elections (although, in the top international elections you find familiar names here and there, e.g. Global Fund contender Hilde Johnson also was running for UNDP Administrator in 2005 and quite recently, for WFP Executive Director or again, Kouchner who previously competed for the post of the UNHCR). I'd say, when the related bodies are concerned and the elections happen to be at the same time, the loss in one race almost automatically means a defeat in another. So, Bernard, why bother? – Look what great job your countryman did, just focusing on one thing!
Actually, the case of the two Frenchmen (the outsider and the winner), both coming from an international humanitarian movement, makes you think about real intentions of the
One more question, apparently rhetorical. Who among the candidates for Global Fund were John Donnelly and boston.com really behind?
P.S. I can't help posting the commentary on the Global Fund selection that I received the other day by email from a much respected international lawyer who asked not to be identified. To see his view, go to comments.