IMF chief must be chosen on 'merit': Brazil

19th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

A successor to scandal-hit former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn should be chosen on professional merit, not simply on nationality, the head of Brazil's central bank said Thursday.

"The choice must take merit into account, independently from nationality," Alexandre Tombini, who worked with Brazil's IMF representative in Washington from 2001 to 2005, told a telephone news conference.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega on Wednesday also sent a letter to colleagues from the Group of 20 (G20) major developed and developing countries, insisting that the new chief did not have to be a European.

"The era is over in which it may have been even remotely appropriate to reserve that important post (of IMF managing director) for a European national," Mantega wrote.

Brazil was one of the main backers of sweeping International Monetary Fund reforms approved last November to give a greater role to emerging economies.

Asian and Latin American countries and even former Soviet republics have pressed strongly for an end to the post-World War II convention that the top job be held by a European.

Strauss-Kahn quit his job in a statement released by the 24-member IMF board at midnight Wednesday, four days after he was arrested in New York on charges of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a chambermaid at the luxury Sofitel hotel.

© 2011 AFP

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