Europe pushes World Bank official Georgieva for top IMF job

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FILE – In this April 18, 2018, file photo, the World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva speaks at the World Bank/IMF annual spring meeting in Washington. European governments have decided to put forward Georgieva from Bulgaria as their candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as head of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European governments have decided to put forward World Bank official Kristalina Georgieva from Bulgaria as their candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as head of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund.

Georgieva prevailed in a vote Friday among EU governments over former Netherlands finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, according to tweets from French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Europe traditionally nominates the head of the IMF while a U.S. candidate becomes president of the World Bank, under a long-standing informal arrangement.

The IMF executive board must choose a replacement for Lagarde, who has been nominated to head the European Central Bank and resigned effective Sept. 12.The 189-country IMF, a key international financial institution, provides members with economic advice and financial assistance.

World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement that Georgieva would take a leave of absence from her duties as World Bank chief executive officer for the nomination period. He said he congratulated Georgieva on the nomination, “which reflects her strong global leadership on economics, finance and development.”

Georgieva previously served as an EU commissioner for international cooperation and humanitarian aid and later oversaw the EU budget.

For her to be chosen the IMF would have to change its bylaws, which require that a person selected as managing director has to be less than 65 years old at the time of initial appointment. Georgieva is 65.

IMF governors or executive directors can nominate candidates until Sept. 6. The IMF executive board has said it intends to complete the selection process by Oct. 4. A non-European candidate, Agustin Carstens from Mexico, sought the post in 2011 when Lagarde, who is French, was chosen.

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