African Official: New IMF Chief Should Be From Developing Nation

African Official: New IMF Chief Should Be From Developing Nation

South Africa’s finance minister says the new IMF chief should be from a developing nation, but Europeans want a European.

Published May 19, 2011


Dominique Strauss-Kahn (Photo: Matthieu Rondel/Landov)


In the wake of last weekend’s sex assault scandal involving the the former head of the International Monetary Fund, a South African official is speaking out about who he thinks should replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who stepped down Wednesday.

The new IMF leader should be from a developing country, South Africa’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in a statement Tuesday.

“To be credible [the IMF] must represent the interests and fully reflect the voices of all countries, not just a few industrialized nations,” Gordhan said. "It is against this background that South Africa calls for a candidate from a developing country to be given the opportunity to be the managing director of the IMF.”

“Such a candidate will bring a new perspective that will ensure that the interests of all countries…are fully reflected.”

But the European Commission contends that the next IMF leader should come from Europe. It’s important to maintain continuity in the role, the group’s spokesperson Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen told the Associated Press, adding that members can “identify strong candidates in the midst of the European Union.”

German President Angela Merkel echoed the same sentiment while pushing for a speedy decision on Strauss-Kahn’s successor, though she didn’t name any specific candidates.

The IMF is made up of several member nations and oversees the global financial system in an attempt to “foster global growth and economic stability.” The organization, through policy advice and funding, works to assist developing nations in an effort to cut poverty and promote stability.

Strauss-Kahn is currently at New York’s Rikers Island after a hotel maid accused him Saturday of sexual assault and attempted rape. He denied the charges in his resignation letter while saying he felt compelled to step down to protect the IMF and devote his attention to fighting the accusations. He hopes to be released on bail Friday.

Written by Hortense M. Barber


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