One Less Neo-Con in Power?

Wolfowitz's World Bank deputy tells him to quit

"Paul Wolfowitz's tenure as president of the World Bank may be decided today by the bank's governing board, after he was abandoned by the Bush administration and faced a revolt led by his own deputy.

When Mr Wolfowitz asked a meeting of senior staff yesterday what he could do to repair faith in his leadership, he was told bluntly to resign by Graeme Wheeler, a managing director of the bank and one of two deputies to the president."

"Sources inside the bank have described the situation as "civil war". The Bank's staff association has called for Mr Wolfowitz to resign, and a group of senior staff have threatened to quit if he stays. Other staff are planning to wear blue ribbons to show their support for the calls for his resignation.

The World Bank's board, made up of 24 directors representing the bank's member countries, has cancelled its previous agenda for today to discuss Mr Wolfowitz's personal intervention to secure pay increases and benefits for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, shortly after he took over as head of the bank.

Yesterday the Bush administration suggested it was prepared to see the board sanction Mr Wolfowitz - a signal that its patience is wearing thin.

After reiterating that President Bush had "full confidence" in Mr Wolfowitz, a White House spokesman said: "I think the effort of the World Bank board should be to get to the facts, treat it with fairness and think of the long-term effectiveness of the institution."

The careful formulation used by the White House indicated that it was washing its hands of Mr Wolfowitz, a bank source said."

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