Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is inching towards success in the bid for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) top seat having scaled the first hurdle, to beat three other countries.
Reuters reports on Thursday that only six countries were left battling for the seat.
Reports say candidates of Mexican, Egyptian and Moldovan were screen out, leaving the race open for Nigeria, Britain, South Korea, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia
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.