Turkey's Dervis won't stand for top IMF job

20th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Turkish economist and former UN official Kemal Dervis, widely pegged as a leading candidate to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF managing director, ruled out his candidacy Friday.

Dervis acknowledged that his name has been in circulation after Strauss-Kahn resigned the International Monetary Fund this week to fight sex charges in New York.

"Speculation about succession at the IMF has included me in the group of persons with relevant experience," Dervis said in a statement.

"But I have not been, and will not be, a candidate. I am fully engaged in, happy with, and focused on my global work at the Brookings Institution and look forward to continuing my research and policy work, including work on Turkey," he said.

Dervis, 62, has been with the Washington think tank since March 2009. He is a vice president of Brookings and director of its global economy and development program.

He headed the United Nations Development Program in 2005-2009, served as Turkey's economy minister, and held a number of positions with the IMF's sister institution, the World Bank.

But the economist's potential candidacy did not appear to have strong support in Turkey.

"If we look around in Turkey, we can find at least 10 names who can easily lead the IMF," Economy Minister Ali Babacan said Friday in a TV interview carried by Anatolia news agency.

"Whether it is Dervis or our other friends whose names are mentioned, all have the knowledge, skills and abilities to lead the IMF," Babacan said, adding that the government had not decided yet whether to promote a Turkish candidate.

© 2011 AFP

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