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Gordhan slams G8 for backing Lagarde

May 30 2011 13:45 Reuters

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Johannesburg - The move by rich nations to back France's Christine Lagarde as the next International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief breaches a decision by the wider Group of 20 bloc for more open selection, local radio quoted South Africa's Finance Minister as saying.

Less developed countries like South Africa have criticised European Union officials for suggesting the next IMF head should be a European, a convention that dates back to the founding of the global lender at the end of World War Two.

"The G8 countries are part of the G20 and within the G20 the ... countries have agreed on a process that will be very different from the historical process, a process that is based on transparency, on openness, on merit and a process that will ignore nationality," Pravin Gordhan said on SAFM radio on Monday.

"And well before nominations for this position close on the 10th of June, we already see the traditional deals being made around tables at which even the major emerging-market economies are not present. So yes, I am indeed surprised."

Earlier this month Gordhan and Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan, who jointly chair a G20 committee on reform of the International Monetary Fund, said merit, not nationality, should determine who replaces Dominique Strauss-Kahn as its head.

Former South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has been touted as a possible candidate for the IMF post, which fell vacant after Strauss-Kahn resigned to face sexual assualt charges.
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