Lagarde among 'excellent' choices for IMF: Lipsky

23rd May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Acting IMF chief John Lipsky said Monday that French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was among a number of 'excellent' potential candidates to succeed disgraced managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Lipsky, in an interview on US television network CNBC, did not endorse any specific candidate in the race for the top job at the International Monetary Fund, including Lagarde who has emerged as the frontrunner in Europe.

Asked what he thought about that speculation, Lipsky said: "She is a very talented and experienced leader.

"She has done an excellent job as finance minister and I'm sure she would be an excellent managing director."

But he noted that "a number" of candidates have been mentioned.

"I'm blessed to say all seem to be excellent names," he added.

Lipsky, the deputy of Strauss-Kahn, took the helm of the IMF after the May 14 arrest of his boss on sexual assault charges.

Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest and has denied all charges that he sexually assaulted a chambermaid at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan.

But Lipsky stressed that the IMF executive board representing all 187 member nations would make the decision on the selection of Strauss-Kahn's successor, not the management or staff.

"Clearly, the board developed its own standards of experience and expertise," he said.

"But, of course, Madam Lagarde has been finance minister at a time of great difficulties in the eurozone, especially peripheral countries and forming novel and innovative approaches to dealing with these problems. In fact, in partnership with the IMF."

Lipsky said he had not spoken with Strauss-Kahn since his arrest.

"Given the circumstances, of course, it's been very difficult to communicate."

© 2011 AFP

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