Guatemalan former Vice President Eduardo Stein on Wednesday announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy to head the Organization of American States due to health reasons. Stein's withdrawal leaves Uruguay's foreign minister, Luis Almagro, as the only declared candidate for the post.
In an email Stein explained that on Tuesday he informed President Otto Perez Molina and Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for OAS chief.
”Very recent neuromuscular difficulties, the symptoms of which certainly did not exist when we made the decision to compete (for the post) in June 2014, led me to make that difficult decision, he said.
Stein, who was vice president from 2004-2008, said that those health limitations, although for the present they are not serious, are certainly sufficiently serious to place conditions on responsible performance and the complete availability required to deal with the heavy demands of leading the hemispheric entity and its reform that cannot be put off.
The former vice president thanked Perez Molina and the foreign minister for the support they had provided for his candidacy. He also expressed his gratitude to Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Guyana for having expressed their support for him.
Stein said that he will continue working on hemispheric issues to the best of his ability.
The new OAS authorities may count on my support in that regard ... and they have at their disposal the prepared plans to take the institution on the road of much needed reform,” he said.
The OAS is scheduled to elect the successor to Chile's Jose Miguel Insulza in March. Stein's withdrawal leaves Uruguay's Almagro as the only contender for the post. He is currently on a Latin American tour to collect support for his candidacy.