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Latest update on the Election process for the new WHO Director-General and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s rivals

By Petros Ashenafi Kebede

Latest update on the Election process for the new WHO Director-General and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s rivals
Six candidates have been proposed by Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the position of WHO Director-General.

Member States proposed the following candidates:

The Government of Italia has submitted the nomination of Dr Flavia Bustreo ;
Dr. Flavia Bustreo is the World Health Organization’s Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, and Vice Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As former Director, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Dr. Bustreo is playing a leadership role in the work of the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

The Government of France has submitted the nomination of Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy;
Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy is a United Nations official and former French Centre-right politician. He has been Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development in the United Nations since 2008 and chairman of UNITAID since 2006.
He previously served as French Minister for Health (1993–1995 and 2004–2005), Minister of Culture (1995–1997) and as Foreign Minister in the cabinet of Dominique de Villepin (2005–2007). He was mayor of Lourdes 1989–2000 and mayor of Toulouse 2001–2004.
Originally a member of the Centre of Social Democrats (CDS), the Christian Democrat component of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) party, he later joined the Union for a Popular Movement.
A cardiologist of profession he became Professor at Toulouse Sciences University in 1988.

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The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has submitted the nomination of Dr David Nabarro ;
Dr. David Nabarro is a medical doctor who has been tapped to lead the United Nations’ response to the massive cholera epidemic in Haiti that was brought to the country by UN peacekeeping troops in October 2010.

The Government of Pakistan has submitted the nomination of Dr Sania Nishtar;
Dr. Sania Nishtar is a Pakistani cardiologist, author and activist who served in the interim federal cabinet in 2013 overseeing public health, education and science.

The Government of Hungary has submitted the nomination of Dr Miklós Szócska.
Dr. Miklós Szócska is a Hungarian academic and politician, former Minister of State for Health serving an exceptional full term in government office between 2010-2014.

The TPLF-led Government of Ethiopia has submitted the nomination of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus;

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is a politician who has served in the government of Ethiopia as Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2012. Previously he was Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012. Born in 1965 in Asmara, Eritrea and he is a politburo member of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front TPLF that has been ruling Ethiopia for the last 25 years is in the inner circle of the regime well known for its systematic patterns of political repression and egregious human rights violations against Ethiopian citizens. The abysmal human rights record of the Ethiopian regime is very well documented by all the major international rights groups (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Freedom House) as well as by the U.S. State Department in its annual human rights report.

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In 2008, under his watch at the Federal Ministry of Health (2005-2012) there was a major cholera outbreak in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region. As a result of the deliberate inaction of Dr. Adhanom, the preventable and treatable outbreak tragically claimed many lives. Dr. Adhanom’s tenure as head of the Federal Ministry of Health was fraught with mismanagement and gross incompetence particularly as it relates to the monies (USD 1,306,035,989) granted from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).

The audit by the Office of the Inspector General into the USD 1,306,035,989 allocated to Ethiopia found: 1) misappropriation of funds and use of donor funds for unsound and politically motivated programs, 2) substandard quality of constructed health facilities and 3) ineligible expenditures. It was the recommendation of the OIG that the Ethiopian government should refund USD 7,026,929 to the Global Fund. To this day, no action has been taken by the Ethiopian government to refund the money. More than 5 thousand people signed a petition in opposition to Tedros Adhanom’s candidacy and submitted to the General Assembly of the World Health Organization.(https://www.change.org/p/we-oppose-tedros-adhanom-s-candida…)

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The deadline for proposals closed on 22 September 2016. Since 22 April 2016, WHO’s 194 Member States have had the opportunity to propose candidates.
The Director-General is WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer and oversees WHO’s international health work. The current Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, was appointed in 2006 and will complete her second term on 30 June next year.

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