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WTO Deadlock Means By-Election Unlikely

The international media are reporting that the latest attempt to choose a director-general for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has failed meaning the chance of an enforced by-election in Mike Moore's seat has entirely receded.

Apparently the latest meeting of the WTO's general council spent most of the four hours it sta for in arguing over procedure with officials reporting no progress.

The US has ruled out attempts to restart the contest with fresh candidates

There are two leading candidates for the job - Mike Moore and Thailand's Supachai Panitchpakdi. Both have accused each other of dirty tricks.

The possibility of a by-election in Waimakariri, due to the seat being vacant for more than six months before the general election has now entirely disappeared.

Some in the Alliance were relishing the possibility of campaigning in Christchurch. National strategists are said to have mixed views on the desirability of fighting it out in what some consider to be a 'Moore' seat, not a Labour one. However Labour are confident they would win the seat. But now a by-election could only take place if Mr Moore and the Government both decided they wanted to enforce one.

That is of course if the WTO can ever make up their mind and do come down on the side of Mr Moore.

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