As a G8 summit nears next week, European leaders are looking for a quick nomination to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Strauss-Kahn, who is scheduled to be released from Rikers Island to house arrest on bail of $1 million for a charge of sexual assault, resigned his position late Wednesday in a letter released by the IMF on Thursday morning. Also on Thursday, the IMF released new rules that provide for dismissal in the case of harassment or abuse of power—allegations previously made against Strauss-Kahn but dismissed by the IMF’s board.
Reuters reported that European nations were scrambling to garner support for Christine Lagarde, finance minister of France, currently seen as the front-running candidate. They prefer to keep a European as head of the institution during the ongoing debt crisis negotiations. Lagarde received endorsements from Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister of Italy, and Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the euro zone finance ministers, on Thursday.
But emerging market countries such as China, Mexico, and Brazil have all suggested that it is time for Europe to give up the top slot, though they so far have not united behind a single candidate.