Lagarde, Carstens candidates for top IMF post: official

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France's Christine Lagarde and Mexico's Agustin Carstens have been selected officially as candidates to lead the International Monetary Fund, officials with the global lender said Monday.

However Stanley Fischer, 67, the head of Israel's central bank who made a late run for the post, was not chosen as an official candidate, the IMF said. It did not cite a reason but did mention the Fund's by-laws, a set of rules that includes one stipulating that its managing director should be under age 65.

Lagarde is France's finance minister, and Carstens is the Mexican central bank chief.

The 24-member IMF executive board was to begin weighing the candidacies with an eye toward filling the crucial job by the end of June, six weeks after former head Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned to deal with his arrest on sexual assault charges in New York.

To date only Lagarde, 55, has picked up major endorsements, first and foremost from the powerful European bloc, where she has been deeply involved in dealing with fiscal crises.

© 2011 AFP

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