Indonesia's finance minister tips Lagarde for IMF
Indonesia's finance minister on Sunday backed his French counterpart Christine Lagarde to take over as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"Personally I support France," Indonesia's finance minister Agus Martowardojo told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia event in Jakarta.
"She's a professional person, very skillful in interacting between organisations, has high integrity and expertise," he said.
His comments follow Lagarde's whistle-stop tour of Asia, in which she touted her credentials for the IMF's top job but was given a lukewarm response in Beijing and New Delhi.
China, India and other emerging nations have baulked at Europe's traditional lock on the top job at the Washington-based IMF, calling the arrangement outdated, so their support is seen as key to the success of Lagarde's bid.
Besides Lagarde, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer announced Saturday that he would run for IMF role.
He is a dark-horse candidate, with Lagarde and Mexico's Agustin Carstens considered the leading contenders.
The job opened unexpectedly after Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 18 to fight sexual assault charges in New York.
© 2011 AFP