Lagarde Fails to Receive India’s Support for Top IMF Job

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 11:25 am (UTC-5)
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French Finance Minister Christine Laggard has failed to receive India's support in her bid to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund.

Laggard met Tuesday with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi, as part of a global tour that has included a stop in Brazil and expected trips to China and meetings with key African officials.

Despite ending the trip without public assurances of India's support, Laggard described her meetings with officials as “excellent.''

Mukherjee told reporters after the meeting that the selection of the managing director of the IMF or of the World Bank should be made on the basis of merit, competence, and in a transparent manner.

Laggard agreed, saying that nationality or region of origin should not prejudice or privilege a particular candidate.

Finance Minister Mukherjee said there should be a broad consensus on who leads the fund, adding that India would like to work with Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa to find a common candidate.

Laggard promised to support more representation for countries like India, China and Brazil. She said the IMF should focus more on emerging nations.

The IMF is expected to announce the candidates for its top post by June 17, and the final selection will be made by June 30.

The head of Mexico's central bank, Agustin Carstens, is the only other declared candidate for the top IMF job. In an interview with the Financial Times, he complained that some European nations are backing his rival even before all the candidates have been announced. Earlier, he said Latin American countries deserve greater representation at the IMF.

European nationals have served as the managing director of the IMF under an agreement reached with the United States after World War II. The agreement also stipulated that an American would head the World Bank.

Former IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France resigned last month following his arrest in New York on charges of sexual assault. He has said he is innocent.