Lagarde set to formally enter race for top role at the IMF

FRENCH finance minister Christine Lagarde is expected to formally announce her bid to run the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this morning.

The European Union is said to have reached a consensus on backing her to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who quit last week over sexual assault charges.

Lagarde is seen as the frontrunner for the job, although she faces strong opposition from developing nations.

IMF directors for five key emerging market economies yesterday hit out at what they call an “obsolete unwritten convention” that the head of the organisation should be a European.

Directors from China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Russia, or BRIC countries, argued that the convention undermines the legitimacy of the IMF as a global institution.

“If the Fund is to have credibility and legitimacy, its managing director should be selected after broad consultation with the membership,” the IMF directors said, adding that the new boss should be chosen on the basis of competence, not nationality.