(Recasts, adding Haiti)
WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - El Salvador and Haiti on Monday co-nominated White House adviser Mauricio Claver-Carone as their own candidates for the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), following the lead of Guyana, as other voices urged a delay in the vote.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s nomination of Claver-Carone has sparked controversy in the region and in the U.S. Congress because he would be the first person from outside the region to head Latin America’s main development bank.
Claver-Carone, the son of Cuban immigrants, has garnered the support of 17 of the bank’s 28 member countries, but Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile, and a top EU official have all urged a delay in the Sept. 12 vote.
With some extra support, the four countries could thwart a vote since they control 22% of the vote and at least 75% of the bank’s voting shares must be present for the election to take place.
Officials in El Salvador and Haiti informed the IDB of their nominations of Claver-Carone on Monday. Haiti’s move is significant because it represents a split with Argentina, with whom it shares a chair on the IDB board of executive directors.
U.S. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Monday said he was deeply concerned about Trump’s nomination of Claver-Carone for the five-year term shortly before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
He called the nomination “a breach of precedent that would lock in place for half a decade someone who is potentially out of step with the next administration and would threaten the IDB’s governance and effectiveness moving forward.”
Claver-Carone last week warned that any move by a minority of shareholders to delay the election could jeopardize the bank’s ability to raise funds in the future.
Colombian President Ivan Duque on Monday repeated his support for Claver-Carone in Bogota, as U.S. officials announced a joint initiative with Colombia that will bring $5 billion in private investments to a rural area. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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