Kazakhstan candidate for IMF post withdraws
Kazakhstan's candidate to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has withdrawn his name from the running, dpa reported according to CNN on Friday.
Grigory Marchenko, the head of Kazakhstan's central bank, told the broadcaster that it was "more or less obvious" that the job would go to French Financial Minister Christine Lagarde.
The deadline for nominations is midnight Friday (0400 GMT Saturday) in Washington, where the IMF is located.
Lagarde, who can count on Europe's one-third command of votes on the IMF executive board and has also gathered support outside of Europe, and Augustin Carstens, head of Mexico's central bank, appear to be the only two remaining candidates in the running.
The IMF executive board must replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned in disgrace in May after he was charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid.
Emerging economies have protested the tradition of a European always heading the IMF, saying their current status as engine of the global economy is being ignored. Marchenko's nomination was seen as an expression of those protests, but he professed surprise earlier this week when Russia nominated him.
He told CNN that attempts to unify around a single alternative to Lagarde had failed, and it was therefore "better to withdraw and not to put some of the countries into embarrassing positions."
Lagarde is "a very good candidate, no doubt about that," Marchenko said.
The IMF board aims to have a decision on the new director by June 30.