Emerging countries lobby for IMF job

May 21, 2011 at 9:53 AM
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BRUSSELS, May 21 (UPI) -- The Group of 20 have agreed the next head of the International Monetary Fund should be chosen on merit, the Turkish ambassador to the Europe Union said.

"The EU has a very heavy weight and so has the United States. But emerging economies have increasing weight. This is precisely why this language was put in the G20 conclusions," said Ambassador Selim Kuneralp, the EUobserver reported.

The New York Times reported Saturday that the leading candidate from Turkey, economist Kemal Dervis, has said he would not accept the position, which the IMF board said would be filled by June 30.

"I have not been and I will not be a candidate," Dervis said.

The head of the IMF has traditionally come from Europe. Emerging nations, however, say shifting economic strengths should allow candidates from China, Russia, Brazil and elsewhere more consideration.

Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said, "A comprehensive selection should be held without defining the region from which the new IMF head should come."

Kudrin is backing Kazakh central bank chief Grigory Marchenko for the job.

Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega wrote to the G20 that "we're beyond the point," of limiting candidates to those with European backgrounds. The head of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, has also said the selection process should take into consideration "changes in the global economy."

That hasn't stopped Europeans from stating their case.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that troubles with the euro and recent IMF involvement in bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal increase expectations that the next IMF leader should be European.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has emerged as the most likely candidate for the position from Europe, the Times said.

In the United States, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he would accept a candidate with a broad background.

IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned this week following his arrest in New York for sexual assault and attempted rape.

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