Tags: Lagarde | IMF | Appointment | Done | Deal

Report: Lagarde’s IMF Appointment Said ‘Done Deal’

Friday, 10 Jun 2011 09:23 AM

The appointment of French finance minister Christine Lagarde as head of the International Monetary Fund is a "done deal," rival Grigori Marchenko told the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph on Friday.

Kazakhstan's central bank governor Marchenko was put forward by Russia and a group of ex-Soviet states in May, but Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin later said the country's position could shift.

"There's a lot of information coming from different sources which is implying that there's agreement between G-8 countries about support for Madame Lagarde," Marchenko said in an interview with the Telegraph.

"If countries which together have more than 60 percent of the vote have agreed to support one candidate, then it's more or less a done deal," he said.

Lagarde is seen as the leading candidate in the IMF race, which also includes Mexico's central bank chief Agustin Carstens.

The IMF job fell vacant after former chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York. He has denied charges.

Russia has not officially supported Lagarde's candidacy, but late in May Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the French minister is "completely acceptable."

Candidates must come forward on Friday.

Inquiry Into Lagarde

French judges may seek more time on Friday to decide on opening an inquiry into Finance Minister Christine Lagarde's role in a 2008 arbitration payout, meaning allegations of misconduct could hang over her bid to head the IMF.

Three judges will meet to discuss whether the case brought against her by opposition deputies merits a formal probe.

Lagarde took time out from a week of globe-trotting on Thursday to take her campaign to be the new IMF chief online, spending an hour tweeting to the general public on her merits for the job.

France's finance minister said her ability to mediate and build consensus qualified her for the job.

"My ability to include, to build consensus, to mediate when needed, to give confidence and to reach out to governments," Lagarde tweeted, in response to a question posted online on why she deserves the top job at the international lender.

Lagarde, who returned to Paris on Thursday from a tour to promote her candidacy that took her to Brazil, India and China, stuck to her IMF campaign and did not answer questions on other issues, such as a new bailout plan for Greece.

She reiterated the importance of diversity in the IMF, where emerging market powers resent Europe's hold on the top job, and said she would improve relations between the Fund and the G-20.

Asked how big the IMF's role should be, compared to the euro zone's, in resolving the bloc's debt crisis, she said its weight was one-third next to the euro zone's two-thirds. "IMF role is key to monitor implementation of the program," she tweeted.

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