IMF official calls for open chief selection process

21st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

A top International Monetary Fund official on Saturday called an open and merit-based selection process of a new head of the institution, adding that a quick conclusion of the process would be advantageous.

"The selection process for a new MD (managing director) has begun," Tharman Shanmugaratnam, chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), said in a statement.

"The challenges we face are pressing, and an early conclusion to the selection process will be advantageous," he added.

Shanmugaratnam also noted that the process be "open, transparent and merit-based, so as to ensure the selection of a highly capable candidate, with the qualities needed to engage with a broad group of stake-holders" and "sustain the fund's active and effective role in global economic management."

The statement came after Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the previous IMF managing director, resigned this past week in the face of sexual assault charges in New York.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde emerged Friday as Europe's choice to lead the IMF, getting a boost when a Turkish favorite ruled out his candidacy for the powerful job.

Developing countries have not coalesced behind one individual. Names mentioned include Indian planner Montek Singh Ahluwalia; Mexican central banker Agustin Carstens; Trevor Manuel, South Africa's former finance minister; and Leszek Balcerowicz, the pioneer of Poland's transition from communism to the free market.

But they could have a tough time against Lagarde, who is widely respected in global financial circles and well-liked by the United States -- which controls 16.8 percent of the voting power on the IMF executive board.

© 2011 AFP

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