French finance minister Christine Lagarde is expected to be chosen as early as Tuesday to become the new leader of the scandal-rocked International Monetary Fund.
Lagarde would be the first woman to head the lending organisation and would replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last month as managing director after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel housekeeper. Lagarde was opposed by Agustin Carstens, a Mexican central banker whose candidacy never caught fire, even among developing countries.
She has broad support in Europe, where she has spear-headed the region's battle against a vicious and stubborn debt crisis. She has also won support from China and Russia, according to reports in Beijing and the ITAR-Tass news agency in Moscow.
The US government has not publicly backed any candidate, but most analysts expect the Obama administration to support Lagarde.
The United States, Europe, China and Russia hold a combined majority of votes on the IMF's board.
The 24-member executive board represents the 187 members of the IMF, which lends to financially troubled countries. The board members will seek to agree on a new managing director by consensus at meeting Tuesday.