New Delhi: India is talking with other emerging countries to build support behind a common candidate from a developing market to head the International Monetary Fund, with Mexico’s central bank chief a possibility, two Indian government sources said on Wednesday.
A joint emerging markets candidate could be announced this week, the sources said.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known as the Brics, sharply criticized European officials on Tuesday for suggesting the next IMF head should automatically be a European.
“We are open to support a strong candidate from emerging economies. He or she could either be Mexican, Brazilian or South African,” an Indian government source, who declined to be named, told Reuters.
“We expect a common candidate of Brics-emerging economies may be announced in two to three days,” the source added.
In the first joint statement issued by their directors at the IMF, the Brics said the choice should be based on competence, not nationality, and called for “abandoning the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from Europe.”
On Monday, Mexico nominated its central bank chief, Agustin Carstens, for the top IMF job.
French finance minister Christine Lagarde announced her candidacy on Wednesday, and has been seen to be the front-runner to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last week after he was charged with attempted rape of a hotel maid in New York.
Strauss-Kahn denies the charges.
One source said India was not planning to put up its own candidate, adding that Montek Singh Ahluwalia, India’s most likely contender for the post, had been ruled out as he is 67 years old. As per the IMF rules, the head of the global lender should not be over 65.
The source said India would have preferred Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s former finance minister, as the joint emerging markets candidate. But Manuel is not finding favour from a few emerging countries, the source added.