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IMF considers Lagarde, Carstens for top job

By the CNN Wire Staff
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IMF poised to name next boss
  • Christine Lagarde, Agustin Carstens jockeying for IMF managing director
  • The top job is left open by Dominique Strauss-Kahn's resignation
  • The IMF seeks to agree on a new managing director by consensus

Washington (CNN) -- The International Monetary Fund could name a new managing director as early as Tuesday, choosing between contenders French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Mexican Central Bank chief Agustin Carstens.

The candidates would fill the post that Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned from in the wake of charges relating to the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in New York.

The IMF's 24-member executive board seeks to agree on a new managing director by consensus.

"Although the board may select a managing director by a majority of the votes cast, the board's objective is to select the managing director by consensus in a formal meeting," the IMF said in a statement last week.

The post of IMF chief has historically been reserved for a Western European candidate. Representatives of various developing countries have been trying to break that tradition in the wake of the resignation of Strauss-Kahn.

Agustin Carstens looks to head IMF
Who is Christine Lagarde?

The 53-year-old Carstens has previously worked for the IMF, serving as deputy managing director from August 2003 to October 2006. Carstens has also worked with the fund as the executive director for Mexico, Spain, Venezuela and Central America, the state-run news agency Notimex reported.

Lagarde, 55, would be the first woman to run the IMF since the global financial institution was established in 1945 and is considered by many as the front-runner in the race.

Speaking to CNN after she declared her candidacy, Lagarde emphasized her background as a lawyer, a business leader, a wife and a mother, an implicit reference to the sex scandal that drove Strauss-Kahn to resign.

The fund is aiming to complete its selection process for Strauss-Kahn's successor by June 30.