Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Lagarde in Brazil to promote IMF candidacy

Updated: 2011-05-31 09:37


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Lagarde in Brazil to promote IMF candidacy 

France's Finance and Economy Minister Christine Lagarde attends a news conference after meeting Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega and Brazil's Central Bank President Alexandre Tombini in Brasilia May 30, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 


BRASILIA, Brazil - French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde met with her Brazilian counterpart Monday to promote her candidacy to head the International Monetary Fund and said she backed the institution's reforms giving developing nations more of a voice in its operations.

Despite the overture, Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega said his country would examine all the candidates for the top job before throwing its support behind anyone. The only other declared candidate, Mexico's central bank Governor Agustin Carstens, plans to visit Brazil later this week.

Lagarde, who would be the IMF's first female leader, has emerged as the odds-on favorite to replace former Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, of France, who quit May 18 after he was accused of sexually attacking a New York hotel maid. He has denied the allegations.
Lagarde said the IMF should continue reforms giving developing countries a greater share of votes in the institution, among other measures.

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"There is a wave of reform that has been pledged since 2008 and needs to be carried out," she said after meeting Mantega.

At a later press conference, Lagarde added: "I will ensure that the Fund represents the diversity of all its members."

Lagarde is touring the globe's big developing powers in anticipation that her appointment may increase tensions with nations such as Brazil and China that argue countries outside of Europe should be allowed to lead the organization.

"Being European and French should not be a benefit and it should not be a drawback," Lagarde told reporters after meeting with Mantega.

The decision on the next IMF leader is expected by the end of June. It will be made by the agency's 24-member executive board, whose officials represent the 187 IMF member countries.

The Brazilian ransparency and merit."

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan went further earlier this month, arguing that the new director should come from an emerging economy to "bring a new perspective that will ensure that the interests of all countries, both developed and developing, are fully reflected in the operations and policies of the IMF."

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on French television Sunday that there was unanimous support for Lagarde last week among the Group of Eight leaders at their annual summit in Deauville, France.

The US, whose vote will be crucial for Lagarde's nomination, has not officially endorsed a candidate.


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