Johannesburg - Maria Ramos, CEO of Absa Group [JSE:ASA], on Friday weighed in on the succession debate for the top job at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), arguing that the new MD of the global body be chosen on merit rather than nationality. In a keynote address on the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of emerging market countries at Wits Business School, Ramos called for the leadership selection process at to be "open and fair". She came short of explicitly endorsing Trevor Manuel, her husband and planning minister, who has been tipped as a potential candidate for the job, saying she could not comment on the matter. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who faces charges of sexual assault, resigned as MD of the IMF on May 18, opening an intense battle over who should succeed him. Given the global environment and the imperative to reform the IMF and World Bank, Ramos said the two organisations "cannot reserve" the job for a particular country or region. "We don't and shouldn't live in a world like that any more," she said. Traditionally, the head of the World Bank is chosen from the US and that of the IMF from European countries.