FRENCH finance minister Christine Lagarde officially declared her candidacy for the leadership of the IMF yesterday, confirming speculation that she would make a bid to replace the ousted Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
She appears to have few credible challengers, but her candidacy could cause controversy given that her appointment would follow the decades-old tradition that only Europeans lead the organisation.
However, the major emerging markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs) – have failed to unite behind an alternative candidate. Lagarde’s only stumbling blocks could be her involvement in a longstanding legal case and an outsider candidate: Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens.
French judges will decide on 10 June whether to pursue the legal case, while the IMF must decide on its leader by 30 June.