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IMF chief quits, seeks bail

world Updated: May 19, 2011 21:11 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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Jailed International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned late on Thursday saying he wants to concentrate now on proving his innocence. He was arrested last week for sexually assaulting a housekeeper at a New York hotel.

Pressure was mounting over the last some days for his ouster, with US secretary of treasury Tim Geithner saying on Tuesday that it was not possible for Strauss-Kahn to run the IMF given the circumstances.

He quit the night before reapplying for bail, which is expected later Thursday.

“I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me,” Strauss-Kahn said in a letter to IMF, adding, “I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence.”

The IMF has struggled to distance itself from the incident saying the managing director was in New York on a private visit. IMF No. 2 official John Lipsky has been in charge since, and will continue till a successor is named.

Europe is pushing for a European successor. The IMF has always had a European managing director since inception in 1945 and the World Bank — both based in Washington —has had a US head.

“I believe that in the current situation, given that we have considerable problems with the euro and that the IMF is very strongly involved here, much can be said for the possibility of installing a European candidate,” said German chancellor Angela Merkel.

The frontrunner as of now is the French economy minister Christine Lagarde.