MEXICO CITY/GENEVA (Reuters) - The Mexican, Egyptian and Moldovan candidates to lead the World Trade Organization are out of the race, four sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Thursday.
The WTO is due to announce on Friday which five of the eight candidates will go on to a second round of voting among members to choose the next director general of the global trade body.
A Mexican source with knowledge of the situation said candidates from Britain, South Korea, Kenya, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia would continue to square off.
However, one U.S. source with knowledge of the situation said the Saudi candidate had also been ousted in an unexpected move given that only three candidates were expected to be ousted in the current round of voting.
Hamid Mamdouh, the candidate for Egypt, told Reuters he was out, along with the candidates from Mexico and Moldova.
One of the sources said there had been strong support from Latin American countries and in Asia for Mexican candidate Jesus Seade but that a decision by the Europe Union to back other candidates had weakened his chances.
The campaign teams of Moldovan candidate Tudor Ulianovschi and Seade did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Additional reporting by Emma Farge; Andrea Shalal and Phil Blenkinsop; Editing by Daina Beth Solomon and Marguerita Choy
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