Kazakh candidate says Lagarde's IMF victory a 'done deal'

9th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Kazakh candidate for the leadership of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday he believed it was a "done deal" that the top job would go to France's Christine Lagarde.

In an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Grigory Marchenko, who heads the National Bank of Kazakhstan, said he believed the Group of Eight developed countries had agreed to back the French finance minister.

"There's a lot of information coming from different sources which is implying that there's agreement between G8 countries about support for Madame Lagarde, and if countries which together have more than 60 percent of the vote have agreed to support one candidate, then it's more or less a done deal," he told the paper.

He added: "Whether this deal was reached several months ago, or whether it was reached in May in Deauville in France (at a G8 summit), it's pretty clear the deal has been reached."

Marchenko has the support of the former Soviet bloc but could back out of the race as early as Friday evening, according to the newspaper.

Although Mexico's central bank governor Agustin Carstens remains a candidate, Marchenko expressed disappointment that developing nations had not come together to choose a single candidate who would have a better chance of winning.

"Another thing that's clear, and sad, is that developing countries are not in a position to come up with a single candidate," he said.

"If developing nations unite around a single candidate, I would be more than happy to support him or her. This whole thing is not based around my own personal ambition."

Lagarde's compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn stepped down as head of the IMF after being been charged with sexual assault in New York.

Strauss-Kahn denies all charges.

© 2011 AFP

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