Wolfowitz falls on sword


Summary

In a statement issued at the end of three-days of deliberations by the World Bank board, Mr Wolfowitz said he was resigning in the best interests of the institution.

Video: "I applaud his vision" – Bush

"I am announcing today that I will resign as president of the World Bank Group effective at the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007)," Mr Wolfowitz said in a statement.

Bush expresses regret

The White House says it regrets the decision by World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz to step down but said it would soon announce a new candidate to allow "an orderly transition."

"We would have preferred that he stay at the bank, but the president reluctantly accepts his decision," the White House said in a statement.

"The president will have a candidate to announce soon, allowing for an orderly transition that will have the World Bank refocused on its mission."

President George W Bush speaking at a joint White House news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, failed to reiterate earlier statements that Mr Wolfowitz, whom he named for the World Bank post in 2005, should stay in the job.

"I applaud his vision, I respect him a lot, and I regret it's come to this," Mr Bush said.

The conflict-of-interest crisis

Mr Wolfowitz, 63, a longtime Bush ally and former deputy defense secretary, reportedly was trying to negotiate a compromise deal that would recognize the bank's flawed advice in resolving a conflict-of-interest crisis with his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a bank employee.

An internal World Bank report made public Monday concluded that Mr Wolfowitz violated bank rules in arranging a generous promotion and pay package for Ms Riza shortly after he assumed the bank presidency in June 2005.

The report also said the bank had given him cloudy instructions on how to resolve the matter.

On Tuesday Mr Wolfowitz had pleaded with directors to let him keep his job, in which he has made fighting corruption a priority.

"I have said I am not without fault in the matter," Mr Wolfowitz said of the scandal surrounding Ms Riza, who ended up earning almost 200,000 dollars a year when she was transferred to the State Department, still on the World Bank's payroll.

Mr Wolfowitz acknowledged he had relied too heavily on outside advisers he brought in to the bank, and pledged to change his management style "to regain the trust of the staff."


In a statement issued at the end of three-days of deliberations by the World Bank board, Mr Wolfowitz said he was resigning in the best interests of the institution.

Video: "I applaud his vision" – Bush

"I am announcing today that I will resign as president of the World Bank Group effective at the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007)," Mr Wolfowitz said in a statement.

Bush expresses regret

The White House says it regrets the decision by World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz to step down but said it would soon announce a new candidate to allow "an orderly transition."

"We would have preferred that he stay at the bank, but the president reluctantly accepts his decision," the White House said in a statement.

"The president will have a candidate to announce soon, allowing for an orderly transition that will have the World Bank refocused on its mission."

President George W Bush speaking at a joint White House news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, failed to reiterate earlier statements that Mr Wolfowitz, whom he named for the World Bank post in 2005, should stay in the job.

"I applaud his vision, I respect him a lot, and I regret it's come to this," Mr Bush said.

The conflict-of-interest crisis

Mr Wolfowitz, 63, a longtime Bush ally and former deputy defense secretary, reportedly was trying to negotiate a compromise deal that would recognize the bank's flawed advice in resolving a conflict-of-interest crisis with his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a bank employee.

An internal World Bank report made public Monday concluded that Mr Wolfowitz violated bank rules in arranging a generous promotion and pay package for Ms Riza shortly after he assumed the bank presidency in June 2005.

The report also said the bank had given him cloudy instructions on how to resolve the matter.

On Tuesday Mr Wolfowitz had pleaded with directors to let him keep his job, in which he has made fighting corruption a priority.

"I have said I am not without fault in the matter," Mr Wolfowitz said of the scandal surrounding Ms Riza, who ended up earning almost 200,000 dollars a year when she was transferred to the State Department, still on the World Bank's payroll.

Mr Wolfowitz acknowledged he had relied too heavily on outside advisers he brought in to the bank, and pledged to change his management style "to regain the trust of the staff."