S. Africa urges 'democratic' process to name IMF boss

31st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said Tuesday that the International Monetary Fund should move towards a democratic system to choose the institution's next leader.

"We are talking about a shift from a decades-old tradition to a new way of doing things. We're talking about a shift from an entitlement to heading certain institutions to a more democratic process," he told reporters.

"This is an important institution and I think there is also important historical issues at stake, whether the institution continue to operate in the old way, whether the 21st century has indeed arrived for everyone concerned," he added.

Gordhan declined to say if South Africa was backing the respected head of the National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel, for the post.

But he also declined to say if South Africa would back French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who on Monday launched a charm offensive in Brazil to try to win support of emerging economies for her IMF candidacy.

South Africa is part of the so-called BRICS group of emerging economic powers that also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, which have criticized Europe's grip on the IMF, but have so far failed to agree on a candidate of their own.

The vacancy at the helm of the IMF arose after Dominique Strauss-Kahn, seen as a French presidential contender, resigned from the post after being charged with sex offences in New York.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all seven charges against him.

© 2011 AFP

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