Finland’s central bank governor Olli Rehn has withdrawn himself from the race to become the IMF’s managing director.
European finance ministers have been battling to take on the role, but unable to come to a unanimous decision, resulting in a vote.
Read more: Mark Carney misses cut for IMF top job
However, Rehn, joined another candidate in Spanish finance minister, Nadia Calviño, in withdrawing from the process.
“EU is about to vote on Europe’s candidate for IMF managing director,” Rehn tweeted. “It is an exceptionally meaningful and motivating job.
“However, at this stage I withdraw my name from the ballot, so that we can achieve a broad-based consensus for the European candidate, and world-wide support.”
It means Europe are down to two final candidates to replace the departing Christine Lagarde.
The former chair of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, has the backing of Germany, and Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian World Bank chief executive who is backed by Paris, are the two candidates set to go head to head in a vote on Friday afternoon.
The Washington-based fund will stop accepting applicants at the start of September and hope for the process to be completed by 4 October.
The drawn out process which led to a controversial vote has left multiple capitals frustrated.
However, the British government has told the EU it does not approve of the current process and abstained from Friday’s votes, the Financial Times claims, with a month left to go for nominations to be made.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who will step down from his role at the end of January, re-highlighted his interest in the job, labelling it “extremely important”.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I wouldn’t mind doing something when I leave . . . [the IMF] role is extremely important.
“It is a time of consequence for the global economy, whether it’s addressing inequalities, adjusting to a lower carbon global economy, helping to get the world out of this very low interest rate, low inflation, low growth trap that we’re in, the fund can play an important role,” he said.
However he was overlooked for the shortlist, with EU capitals considering the Canadian citizen, not “European enough”, despite holding British and Irish passports.