The IMF on Thursday opened formal nominations for the next term of the managing director, with current chief Christine Lagarde the likely leading candidate, despite facing a possible trial in France.
The International Monetary Fud said nominations for the five-year term to run the global crisis bank beginning in July will close on February 10.
After a review of the candidates, the IMF executive board aims to have decided on a candidate by March 3.
Lagarde, the former French finance minister who has overseen the IMF through the challenging eurozone bailouts and is widely respected in the global financial community, has not said directly that she wants to renew her position.
But she said several times in the past year that she is open to it.
Asked about staying on at the annual IMF global meeting in Lima, Peru last October, she said: “I’m certainly open to the fact that it would not be my last annual meeting. But this is not for me to decide.”
Lagarde easily won a contest with several developing country candidates to take over the IMF in 2011 as Europe was sinking deep into economic crisis.
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