IMF leadership battle begins as chief resigns
US: The resignation of International Monetary Fund head
Dominique Strauss-Kahn promises to set off a succession battle to lead
the global lender pitting the developing world against the West.
Five days after Strauss-Kahn was arrested for allegedly sexually
assaulting a maid in a posh New York hotel, the Fund, a crucial player
in protecting global economic stability, has given no suggestion of what
it will do.
But possible candidates have been mentioned and a fight looms over
whether the next chief will come, as tradition has dictated, from
Europe, or from one of the rapidly developing economies flexing their
muscles on the world stage.
As pressure swelled for the IMF to chart its course through the
crisis, Strauss-Kahn announced early Thursday that he would step down as
he again denied all the charges against him.
He did not give any indication of who he wanted to succeed him,
saying only that he wanted "to protect this institution which I have
served with honour and devotion."
The IMF itself has said little about the crisis and continued its
work under acting director John Lipsky, signing off this week on a
78-billion-euro ($111 billion) Portugal bailout, releasing funds for
Ireland's bailout, and putting pressure on Pakistan to improve its
"The Fund will communicate in the near future on the Executive
Board's process of selecting a new Managing Director. Meanwhile, Mr.
John Lipsky remains Acting Managing Director," the IMF said in a short
statement accompanying Strauss-Kahn's resignation letter.
Officially, the 24-member executive board votes to fill the top post,
with votes weighted based on member countries' and region's subscription
But traditionally it has been negotiated based on a pact that gives
the United States a hold on the World Bank's top job and Europe the IMF
Some European leaders have already called for another European to be
named, with French finance minister Christine Lagarde and former German
central banker Axel Weber mentioned as possible candidates.
The popular shortlist from emerging economies includes Turkish former
UN official Kemal Dervis, Indian planner and IMF veteran Montek Singh
Ahluwalia, and Mexican central banker Agustin Carstens. Washington, AFP