Top IMF candidates to seek support with Brazil visit

28th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The two leading candidates for the position of International Monetary Fund managing director head to Brazil next week for back-to-back visits, officials said Friday.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde plans to travel to Brasilia on Monday to seek support for her candidacy, the French embassy here said Friday.

Mexico's central bank governor Agustin Carstens is also expected in Brasilia on Wednesday, a spokesman for Brazil's finance ministry told AFP.

Lagarde's visit would be her first stop on a tour of emerging powers that is also expected to include visits to China and India.

She will have lunch with her Brazilian counterpart Guido Mantega and also meet with the Brazilian central bank president Alexandre Tombini, the French embassy said.

The French finance minister is the favorite to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has been charged with sexual assault in New York, as the head of the international financial organization.

The so-called BRICS, the group of emerging economic powers that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have criticized the Europeans' grip on the IMF, but have not yet agreed on a candidate of their own.

On Tuesday representatives of the BRICS lashed out in a statement saying they are "concerned" with indications from European officials that the position of managing director should continue to be held by European.

The 2008-2009 financial crisis in the United States and Europe showed the need to reform institutions like the IMF "to reflect the growing role of developing countries in the world economy," they said.

The five have however refrained from endorsing any candidate, with the nominating period still open up until June 10, and Mantega indicating Brazil would back a candidate who holds positions that are "most consistent with our views."

Earlier this week he said he had already spoken with both Lagarde and Carstens, noting the Mexican governor had "called me requesting our support."

The IMF will publish the full list of names of candidates seeking to become the next managing director by June 17, a spokeswoman said this week.

The final selection for the chief is expected to be announced by June 30.

© 2011 AFP

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