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IMF chief Georgieva sole candidate in reelection process

Georgieva is the sole candidate to lead the IMF from October 1
Georgieva is the sole candidate to lead the IMF from October 1 - Copyright AFP OLIVIER DOULIERY
Georgieva is the sole candidate to lead the IMF from October 1 - Copyright AFP OLIVIER DOULIERY
Daniel AVIS

The International Monetary Fund confirmed Thursday that its current managing director is the only candidate to lead the global financial institution once her first term expires later this year. 

With the period for submitting nominations closing one day earlier, “One candidate, the current Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, has been nominated,” the IMF said in a statement.

The announcement makes Georgieva’s return to the top job at the IMF almost certain once her term ends on September 30. 

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.

The IMF said its executive board hopes to complete the selection process by the end of April.

– Building ‘trust’ – 

Georgieva, 70, has run the IMF since 2019, and told AFP last month that she was making herself “available to serve, if people want me to serve.”

During her tenure, the IMF has helped countries facing financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic as well as the havoc wrought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, especially in Europe.

Georgieva faced allegations in 2021 — which she strongly denied — that she had been involved in amending a popular World Bank business report in order to favor China when she worked at the development lender. 

But after reviewing the World Bank report into the incident, the IMF executive board dismissed the allegations and reaffirmed its confidence in Georgieva, allowing her to remain in post. 

A Bulgarian national, Georgieva received backing from key European allies including European Union finance ministers, and Dimitar Radev, the head of Bulgaria’s central bank, all but guaranteeing she would be re-nominated. 

In her AFP interview, Georgieva said that if she is reelected she will “bring to the job a determination for the Fund to be an institution that leans forward in addressing the most challenging problems we face.”

These challenges include boosting productivity and growth, “so more people have a better chance,” tackling elevated post-pandemic debt levels, and making the IMF “more inclusive and more representative, so it can enjoy the trust of our members and people,” she added. 

Georgieva’s solitary nomination mirrors that of Banga, who ran for the World Bank job unopposed after he was put forward by US President Joe Biden. 

The former Mastercard executive took over the reins of the development lender last summer, and has since embarked on a mission to “fix the plumbing” of the bank so it can operate more effectively. 

Georgieva and Banga will be co-hosting the world’s financial leaders at the IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings in Washington later this month. 

Thursday’s announcement means the meetings will proceed without a distracting battle over the future of the IMF running in the background. 

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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