Former French finance
minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn will succeed Rodrigo Rato of Spain as the new
head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Rato, who took office in May 2004, announced in late June he was stepping down
in October for personal reasons.
won by a convinsing majority over Russia''s nominee, former Czech prime minister
and central bank governor, Josef Tosovsky.
58-year-old former French presidential candidate will begin his five-year term
as IMF managing director on 1 November.
24-member board of member countries made the decision in Washington in two stages
that included a secret straw poll and a formal vote.
promised to undertake an immediate reform of the International Monetary Fund to
help boost its legitimacy and relevance.
also pledged to reform the institution to make it more representative of its 185
members and to strengthen its monitoring of economies.
am determined to pursue without delay the reforms needed for the IMF to make financial
stability serve the international community, while fostering growth and employment,"
he said in a statement released in Paris.
nomination puts a Frenchman at the helm at the IMF, alongside Pascal Lamy at the
Geneva-based World Trade Organisation, Jean-Claude Trichet at the European Central
Bank in Frankfurt and Jean Lemierre at the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development in London.
is no passionaria of globalisation," French daily Le Monde said in
an article ahead of Strauss-Kahn''s nominaton. "But it is over-represented
in this world of international economic and financial institutions. Is there something
in the French DNA for this kind of job?"
the suave architect of France''s economic recovery in the late 1990s, known as
"DSK," is no stranger to difficult tasks. A formidable debater, Strauss-Kahn
is equally comfortable talking the language of politics or economics - in English,
French or German.
Paris, French president Sarkozy said he had telephoned Strauss-Kahn, who is visiting
Chile, to congratulate him on his election.
know he will make the grade and now we need to work to make the IMF an organisation
that will do even more to help the developing nations that need it," he added.
also thanked a wide range of countries that supported Strauss-Kahn''s candidacy
including Germany, Britain, the United States, China and India.
which has once been at the centre of financial crises in Asia and Latin America,
saw its role change amid global economic calm where there has been less need for
its emergency loans.
IMF''s mission to bail out countries in crisis has been eclipsed by the newfound
riches of former clients in the 1990s, such as Russia, Indonesia, South Korea,
Argentina and Mexico, many of which have paid off their IMF debt.
recent years, the IMF has searched for new missions for its 2,700 employees, including
efforts to help poor countries, but with little effect.