BUSINESS

Emerging Economies Searching For Representative IMF Candidate

05/31/2011 09:41 am 09:41:55 | Updated Jul 31, 2011

CAPE TOWN - Emerging nations are still conducting "lots of consultations" about choosing a candidate from their ranks to head the International Monetary Fund, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.

Gordhan told reporters that emerging states had until June 10 to name their consensus candidate.

"There's lots of consultations going on. It's work in progress," Gordhan said when asked to comment on the race to replace Dominique Strauss-Khan, who stepped down after being accused of trying to rape a New York hotel maid.

Current front-runner, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, kicked off a worldwide tour in Brazil on Monday to win support for her candidacy to lead the global lender, pledging to push reforms to give emerging economies more say.

The backing of Brazil, Latin America's largest economy and an influential diplomatic power, could help ease discontent among developing countries over the long-standing practice of choosing a European to head the Washington-based IMF.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Brazil had yet to decide whether to support Lagarde or her only declared rival, Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens.

Gordhan also said South Africa, the continent's leading economy, might nominate its own candidate, but did not name anybody. Respected former finance minister Trevor Manuel is the only South African official thought to be in with a chance.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf, Writing by Ed Cropley, Editing by Catherine Evans)

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