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Candidates from Ethiopia, United Kingdom, and Pakistan will compete for WHO's top slot

Image: WHO


Three have been voted off the island, and now there are only two men and one woman left. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced who will be up for election to the post of director-general in May. They are: former Ethiopian Health Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, U.K. physician and United Nations official David Nabarro, and Pakistani cardiologist and former science minister Sania Nishtar.

Earlier this week there were still six candidates; WHO's Executive Board, made up of representatives of 34 member states, had decided to do interviews with only five. On Monday, it rejected Hungarian former Health Minister Miklós Szócska. After talking to the remaining candidates today, the board sent home former French Health Minister Philippe Douste-Blazyand WHO’s assistant director-general for family, women’s and children’s health, Flavia Bustreo from Italy.

The new director-general will be elected in late May by all of WHO's member states at the World Health Assembly, a 10-day gathering in Geneva, Switzerland, and will take office on 1 July.

The three remaining candidates will each give a press conference tomorrow; check back with ScienceInsider then for more on their proposals and their chances.

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