Paul Wolfowitz, the embattled World Bank President, will face renewed pressure to resign, as an official investigation into his conduct widens beyond the scandal of his girlfriend's pay rise, to cover a series of other allegations.
With American support seen as critical to Mr. Wolfowitz's surivival, U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is pressing the White House to withdraw its backing from the controversial neo-conservative, whose management of the Washington-based World Bank has provoked an open staff revolt. Anti-Wolfowitz campaigners have even posted a satirical video clip on the website YouTube, comparing him to the boss in the U.S. version of TV comedy The Office.
The bank's board announced on Friday that it would set up an ad hoc committee to look at the allegations against Mr. Wolfowitz. As well as the pay and promotions awarded to his lover, Shaha Riza, the committee will examine a series of controversial appointments Mr. Wolfowitz made since he took over two years ago. His two closest advisers, Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems, are both paid about $250,000, outraging Bank insiders.
European Ministers have been taken aback by Mr. Wolfowitz's stubborn refusal to resign, despite a strongly worded statement released by development ministers in Washington last weekend, saying the leadership crisis was "of great concern".
The bank's European donors are determined to oust Mr. Wolfowitz. Mr. Wolfowitz issued a terse statement on Friday, saying, he "looks forward to implementing the recommendations of the board".
Another Bushite is going..going...gone!