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IMF Launches Leadership Search with Georgieva Tipped for Second Term

IMF Launches Leadership Search with Georgieva Tipped for Second Term

The International Monetary Fund officially launched the selection process to find the organization’s next leader on Wednesday, with current managing director Kristalina Georgieva widely expected to be renominated for a second five-year term at the Washington-based financial institution.

Georgieva, 70, has run the IMF since 2019, and indicated last week that she would be “honored” to helm the organization once more after her current term expires on September 30 — if she is backed by member states.

“The Executive Board has adopted an open, merit-based, and transparent process for the selection of the next Managing Director,” the IMF executive board coordinators Afonso Bevilaqua and Abdullah BinZarah said in a statement.

“The Board intends to complete the process by end-April 2024,” they added.

Under a controversial, decades-old agreement between Europe and the United States, the International Monetary Fund has historically been led by a European, and the World Bank by a US citizen.

This unwritten arrangement was reaffirmed last year when the Biden administration nominated Ajay Banga, an Indian-born, naturalized US citizen, to run the World Bank, which sits just across the street from the IMF in Washington.

Prior to her comments last week, speculation had swirled about whether Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist, might run again once her current term expires.

She has received backing from key European allies in recent weeks, including French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, and Dimitar Radev, the head of Bulgaria’s central bank.

On Tuesday, European Union (EU) finance ministers agreed to back Georgieva for a second term.

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“I’m very happy to announce that all European member states actually expressed that support for Kristalina,” Belgium Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem said after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.

He pointed to the “trust” that the European Union had in Georgieva, adding: “Kristalina showed strong leadership the last couple of years especially during unprecedented crises and… she also provided support to all the members.”

The EU’s decision sharply reduces the chances of success for other individuals whose names have appeared in connection with the role in recent months, including Paschal Donohoe, Ireland’s minister for public expenditure.

AFP

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