India wary of supporting French bid for top IMF post

Lagarde—front runner for the top job of the IMF—had a 30-minute-long meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a luncheon meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking India’s backing for her candidature.

“There is no assurance (on supporting Christine Lagarde). We are working on a consensus,” Mukherjee said. “India wants election of MD of IMF to be on the basis of merit and competence and to be held in a transparent manner and not on any particular nationality. There should be a consensus,” he said.

Lagarde on her part said, “I have not come here to seek assurance on my candidature. In my campaign (for the IMF post) I want to know the views and perceptions of the emerging economies like that of India over who should head the IMF.”

“I am of view that the selection of the candidate (for the IMF post) should be based on merit. Nationality of the candidate should not prejudice the selection process. The candidate for this post should bring in his or her experience and leadership qualities in handling the global financial issues,” she told a press conference.

The top post of the IMF fell vacant following the exit of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is facing charges in a sexual assault case.

The race for the key post of the IMF is intensifying with the European countries throwing support to Lagarde’s candidature and emerging economies like Brazil, India and China questioning the methodology of selection.

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