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IMF to consider sole candidate Kristalina Georgieva for managing director

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-09-10 05:29
World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva speaks at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 7, 2018. [Photo/IC]

WASHINGTON - The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Monday that it will consider the nomination of Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva, currently chief executive officer of the World Bank, for the position of IMF managing director.

Georgieva, selected by the European Union to lead the IMF, has become the only nominee for the position, as the period for submitting nominations closed on Friday. She served on the European Commission and has been chief executive officer of the World Bank since January 2017.

The IMF approved the removal of the age limit for the position of managing director last week, paving the way for 66-year-old Georgieva to head the multilateral lender.

Previously, the IMF's bylaws had prohibited the appointment of a candidate aged 65 or over as managing director and had also prohibited the managing director from serving past his/her 70th birthday.

In July, Christine Lagarde announced her resignation as IMF chief from Sept. 12 shortly after she was nominated for the presidency of the European Central Bank (ECB), triggering a selection process for the global lender's next managing director.

In early August, Georgieva narrowly defeated former Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and emerged as EU's choice to lead the IMF, after EU countries failed to reach a consensus on a single candidate.

Britain had actively promoted its former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne for the post, but later decided to support Georgieva as it didn't manage to garner enough support for Osborne, according to media reports.

Georgieva, who would become the first eastern European national to head the IMF, "has confirmed willingness to be considered as a candidate," the executive board said in the statement. The board's goal is to complete the selection process "as soon as possible," at the latest by Oct 4.

The position of IMF chief has always been held by Europeans while the top job at the World Bank has traditionally been American, an informal arrangement that has stayed in place for over seven decades.

Earlier this year, David Malpass, former undersecretary for international affairs at the US Treasury Department, was chosen by US President Donald Trump as a candidate to lead the World Bank, and he took office in April after a campaign without competition.

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