(HN, May 19, 2011) - With the resignation yesterday of the disgraced chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, smaller member nations are lobbing to get their candidates short-listed for leader of the Washington-based multilateral agency.
Turkey is leading the pack of emerging economies, putting forth former finance minister Kamal Davis. He is a former World Bank employee and is widely credited with rescuing the Turkish economy from the devastating financial crisis of 2001.
In a post-World War II pact, leading powers decided that the IMF Managing Director post would normally be held by a European and the World Bank by an American. This is why the charismatic, high-profile French finance minister Christine Lagarde is most frequently mentioned as a front-runner for the 187-member body.
However powerful member nations such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (the so-called BRIC economies) and Japan are signalling that the selection process for the new IMF chief should be based on merit and conducting with transparency. Moreover, the IMF is said to be working to improve its governance by giving a greater voice to fast-growing developing economies such as Brazil and Turkey.
Brazil’s former Foreign Affairs minister Celso Amorim said that the next IMF Managing Director must come from an emerging economy, according to the MercoPress South Atlantic News Agency.
“I don’t think the IMF or the World Bank can continue to be monopolies of United States and Europe”, said Amorim. “If the next IMF Managing Director were to be chosen from an emerging country it would be much better since it would show the organization is more representative and sensitive to world changes, and that is very important."
The sentiment was echoed by Brazil's current finance minister, Guido Mantega.
Japan's finance minister Yoshihiko Noda urged IMF members Thursday to pick a new leader in a way that's "open, transparent and based on abilities."
He added: "I am expecting an appropriate person will be selected through such a process."
For the BRIC countries to marshal enough support to achieve a crucial 15 percent blocking minority on the IMF board, significant diplomatic effort would need to be expended, analysts say.
- HUMNews Staff