BEIJING - Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF's ex-chief, was detained by police on May 14 for alleged sexual assault at a New York hotel, and resigned as head of the IMF five days later. The dramatic turn of events caused great sensation in the world and left many questions unanswered.
French political circles felt the biggest shock. To French media and some politicians, the whole scenario smacks of a political conspiracy with Kahn, widely seen as the most promising candidate in next year's presidential poll, caught in the scandal at this sensitive juncture. It remains to be seen what is the truth behind the whole thing and its possible impacts on the coming French presidential election.
The vacancy left by Strauss-Kahn's abrupt departure has caught world attention. Under the rule of a European-American-dominated world financial order, the succession is highly predictable. Since the organization was founded after World War II, Europeans have taken the IMF presidency just as Americans have served as chief of the World Bank.
Yet, the 2008 financial crisis triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers and the euro zone debt crisis that hit Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain since 2009 have dramatically changed the world economic landscape.
The European members of IMF have decided to transfer more than 6 percent of the quota shares to dynamic emerging markets and developing countries and to underrepresented countries before 2012.
As IMF presidency has a vital bearing on the organization's future, some analysts argue, why should the new IMF chief be chosen by the old tradition of nationality rather than ability?
They predict that the emerging countries will join the competition for the position. Hopefuls from these countries include former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, and Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens. On the part of Europe, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown are among the strongest contenders. Washington's position on the race, however, remains an unanswered question, some analysts note.