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India for consensus on IMF chief: FM

business Updated: May 26, 2011 22:34 IST
HT Correspondent

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said he was coordinating with governments of other emerging nations to support a common candidate to be the next head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I am in touch with some of the finance ministers of developing countries and emerging economies... We are trying to consolidate our position where we can take a view,” Mukherjee told reporters here.

Mukherjee’s comments came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged developing nations to stay united in wresting control of global institutions, such as the IMF. “I had a discussion with the finance minister of South Africa over the phone yesterday,” he said.

French finance minister Christine Lagarde announced her candidacy for the top job at the fund after Dominique Strauss-Kahn quit following his arrest in New York on charges of sexually assaulting a New York hotel housekeeper.

IMF executive directors from BRICS economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — said in a declaration that Europe’s grip on the IMF leadership “undermines the legitimacy of the Fund.”

Singh’s call for unity is being seen as an attempt to keep the flock together. Brazil had said a few days ago the best candidate could be from Europe.

“I do recognise the struggle for the transformation of global institutions is a long process in which all developing countries will have to stand united,” Singh said on Wednesday.

With 35% of IMF votes, a united Europe is a formidable block, but still needs to find allies to put Lagarde’s candidacy out of reach for any challenger.