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Lagarde set for second term as IMF chief

IMF chief Christine Lagarde became assured Thursday of a second five-year term after the global financial institution announced there were no other candidates for the position.

“One candidate, current Managing Director Christine Lagarde, has been nominated,” the IMF executive board said in a statement. The new term begins in July.

The United States, the largest IMF stakeholder and long a strong supporter of Lagarde’s leadership in steering the crisis lender through a critical time for the global economy, swiftly declared its official backing Thursday.

Named to head the IMF in July 2011, Lagarde, 60, also has received numerous expressions of support from officials in Europe and Latin America.

No other candidate had emerged for the position by the time the nominating process closed on Wednesday.

The board, representing the IMF’s 188 member nations, said it would hold meetings with Lagarde and wants to complete the selection process “as soon as possible.”

It is expected to formally name her the next managing director by early March.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced Washington’s support for Lagarde’s second term, praising her for an “exceptional job” in leading the IMF over the last five years.

“I’ve known Christine for many years, and I’ve seen time and again her ability to bring people together on major global issues and drive toward solutions,” he said.

“As in 2011, we are encouraged by the broad support she has secured among the Fund’s membership, including from the emerging economies.”

In 2011, Lagarde, a former French finance minister, easily won a contest with several developing country candidates to take over the IMF as Europe was sinking deep into economic crisis.

But her victory came amid criticism that the IMF’s top job should not be locked down by a European, as it has since the institution was created in 1944


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