IMF will choose new leader on merit: World Bank chief

19th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

World Bank head Robert Zoellick said Thursday he was certain that the IMF would choose a new leader based on merit rather than politics after the resignation of managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Asked whether the process to replace Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested in New York for sexual assault, would be based on individual qualifications, Zoellick replied "I'm sure it will."

"There's a process that the (IMF member) countries will use ... and you can see it's starting to take form now," he said.

"I'm sure they'll pick a fine person."

Strauss-Kahn's resignation announced at midnight Wednesday, four days after he was arrested for attacking a hotel chambermaid, set off a global debate over the tradition of naming a European to run the crucial global financial stabilizer, to play opposite the American-led World Bank, the IMF's sister institution.

While European leaders are lobbying again for one of their own to head the IMF -- French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is the front-runner -- officials from China, Brazil, South Africa and elsewhere have called for a more open process and a replacement from a more newly-developed economy.

© 2011 AFP

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