World Trade Organization, WTO, has dropped three candidates from the race to be the next Director-General of the body.
It also plans to reduce the contestants to two final candidates in the coming weeks.
According to reports, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala still remained in the race.
Okonjo-Iweala is a former finance minister in Nigeria and former Managing Director of the World Bank.
The Geneva-based WTO said Mexico’s Jesus Seade, Egypt’s Hamid Mamdouh, and Moldova’s Tudor Ulianovschi didn’t secure enough support in a first of three rounds of voting.
The second phase of consultations would begin on September 24 and run until October 6 after which the WTO would announce two final candidates.
The goal was to name a new leader by November 7.
The vacancy arose when Brazilian director-general, Roberto Azevedo, decided to step down at the end of August, a year before his term was due to end.
The vacancy offered an opportunity for the US, the European Union, and other nations to reshape the organization, whose mission of economic integration was under threat from protectionist policies around the globe.
Without reform, it risked being sidelined during the biggest economic crisis in a century.