US to back IMF chief with broad support: Geithner

20th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The United States will support a candidate to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the helm of the IMF who can command broad support at the institution, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday.

"We are prepared to support a candidate with the requisite, deep experience and leadership qualities, and who can command broad support among the Fund's membership," Geithner said in a statement.

"It is important that this be an open process and one that moves quickly to select new leadership for the IMF."

Geithner said that US officials were consulting "broadly" with the International Monetary Fund's shareholders, "from emerging markets, as well as advanced economies."

Strauss-Kahn's abrupt resignation as IMF managing director on Thursday to face sex charges in New York has set off jockeying for the top job at the powerful 187-nation institution based in Washington.

Under a gentleman's agreement, a European has held the post since 1946 and an American has been the president of the IMF's sister institution, the World Bank.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was emerging Friday as Europe's choice as the battle raged between advanced and emerging economic powers over who should be the next managing director.

Lagarde is "practically a shoo-in" as the European Union's candidate to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF managing director, an EU source said Friday.

Seven EU director hold 31.5 percent of the IMF votes on the board.

The United States is by far the largest stakeholder, with nearly 17 percent of the vote.

© 2011 AFP

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