Nominations have closed and the final candidates for the election of Interpol Secretary General have been announced.
Following our last post on the runners and riders for selection Mr. Faisal Shahkar from Pakistan is the surprise addition announced after the January 31st, 2024 deadline. Mr Shahkar has had a distinguished career in the police in Pakistan and as a UN Police advisor and head of UN Department of Police Operations.
Mr Shahkar joins Mubita Nawa of Zambia as one of two candidates seen as rank outsiders in the election. The favorites for the position remain British candidate Stephen Kavanagh and Valdecy Urqiza from Brazil.
Were Mr Urqiza to be appointed, he would be the first secretary general from South America to lead the organisation. In a recent interview for Reuters he emphasised that all the previous incumbents for the post were from just five countries, four in Europe and the United States;
"The organization runs the risk of losing credibility and losing legitimacy if it isolates itself. What we need for Interpol's success is plurality ..We need all countries to feel included, for all regions to be served,"
He also claimed Brazil's stated neutrality in global affairs was an advantage –
"Interpol cannot be used for geopolitical ends, so it is important that the secretary general comes from a neutral country, and Brazil has that."
RNM maintains the view that none of the candidates should be entirely dismissed, as the final vote's outcome will depend on the unpredictable horsetrading between nations. However, with the frontrunners' strong positions, newcomers like Mr. Shahkar may find it challenging to gain momentum for their candidacy through lobbying and campaigning. The voting choices of nations outside of Europe and the West may ultimately determine the outcome.
The next phase of the selection process involves the Executive Committee interviewing shortlisted candidates.