IMF chief should be picked on merit: Brazil

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Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega on Wednesday fired off a letter to G20 colleagues insisting that the new head of the IMF should be picked not based on geography but on professional merit.

"The era is over in which it may have been even remotely appropriate to reserve that important post (of IMF managing director) for a European national," Mantega wrote in part.

"No nationality should be excluded, nor should any regional preference stand in the way of the election of the best possible candidate," the Brazilian minister stressed.

Pressure was mounting on Wednesday meanwhile to replace the International Monetary Fund's Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn after he was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

Four days after Strauss-Kahn was arrested, the Fund, a crucial player in strengthening the global economy, has given no suggestion of what it will do even as its chief stews in New York's Rikers Island prison awaiting possible trial.

But increasingly replacements' names were being tossed around and members were girding for a fight over whether the next chief of the Fund would come, as tradition has dictated, from Europe, or from one of the rapidly industrializing economies flexing their muscles on the world stage.

© 2011 AFP

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