Lagarde Seeks India’s Backing for Top IMF Job

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 8:50 am (UTC-5)
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French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has failed to receive public support from India in her bid to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde 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 several African nations.

Despite ending the trip without assurances of India's support, Lagarde 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.

He 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.

The head of Mexico's central bank, Agustin Carstens, is the only other declared candidate for the top IMF job. Carstens said last week during a visit to Brazil that Latin American countries deserve greater representation at the IMF.

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.

European nationals have served as the managing director of the IMF under an agreement reached with the United States after World War Two. The agreement 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.