Christine Lagarde and Agustin Carstens, the two leading candidates for the position of IMF Managing director, on the wake of the sex scandal involving Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn, will be visiting Brazil this week.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde plans to travel to Brazilian capital Brasília on Monday to seek support for her candidacy, the French embassy informed Friday.
Mexico’s central bank governor Agustin Carstens is also expected in Brasília on Wednesday, a spokesman for Brazil’s finance ministry told news agency AFP.
Lagarde’s visit would be her first stop on a tour of emerging powers that is also expected to include visits to China and India. She will have lunch with her Brazilian counterpart Guido Mantega and also meet with the Brazilian central bank president Alexandre Tombini, the French embassy said.
The French finance minister is the favorite to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and following on this week’s G8 meeting in Normandy allegedly has a majority support from its eight members, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Russia, Japan and the US.
However the so-called BRICS, the group of emerging economic powers that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have criticized the Europeans’ grip on the IMF, but have not yet agreed on a candidate of their own.
On Tuesday representatives of the BRICS lashed out in a statement saying they are “concerned” with indications from European officials that the position of managing director should continue to be held by European.
The 2008-2009 financial crisis in the United States and Europe showed the need to reform institutions like the IMF “to reflect the growing role of developing countries in the world economy,” they said.
The five have however refrained from endorsing any candidate, with the nominating period still open up until June 10, and Mantega indicating Brazil would back a candidate who holds positions that are “most consistent with our views.”
Mantega revealed that earlier this week he had already spoken with both Lagarde and Carstens, with the Mexican governor “requesting our support.”