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Christine Lagarde and Agustin Carstens seek IMF support

     How the IMF chooses a new leader
    Profile: Christine Lagarde
    Lagarde visits China on IMF tour

    Leading candidates to become head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are trying to drum up support ahead of the deadline for nominations later.

    French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, favourite for the job, is in Portugal while Mexico's Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens is in India.

    He said India shared Mexico's belief that developing nations should have a louder voice at the IMF.

    The post became vacant when Dominique Strauss-Kahn quit last month.

    He is currently in New York facing sexual assault charges relating to an alleged attack on a hotel maid.
    Drop out

    The final selection for his replacement is expected to be announced by 30 June.

    Kazakhstan Central Bank Governor Grigory Marchenko is also in the running for the job, but former South African finance minister Trevor Manuel has ruled himself out.

    Reports suggested Mr Manuel could be a late entrant into the race, but on Friday he said he had "decided not to avail" himself.

    "Today is the closing date and I certainly haven't put my hat in the ring."

    Ms Lagarde remains the clear favourite. She was expected to learn the outcome on Friday of an examination by three top French judges of allegations that she abused her authority in 2008 when she granted a large payout to a prominent businessman to settle a legal case.

    However, a court has now ruled the decision on whether to pursue the inquiry will be made on 8 July, after the appointment of the new IMF head.
    'Done deal'
    Agustin Carstens Mr Carstens will be continuing his campaign in India and then the US

    Ms Lagarde has been in Brazil, India and China this week to try to garner support amongst key developing nations.

    She left Beijing for Lisbon on Thursday to take part in the African Development Bank's annual meeting.

    Before the departure she said she was "very satisfied" about her meeting with Chinese officials.

    "I have a very positive feeling following these talks, but it's up to them to convey their decision," Ms Lagarde told AFP news agency.

    Mr Carstens is also continuing his tour - he is visiting India before going to the US next week.

    Meanwhile, Mr Marchenko - whose candidacy was put forward by Russia and several other former Soviet republics - said that Ms Lagarde was the favourite to get the job.

    "There's a lot of information coming from different sources, which is implying that there's agreement between G8 countries about support for Madame Lagarde," Mr Marchenko told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

    "If countries which together have more than 60% of the vote have agreed to support one candidate, then it's more or less a done deal," he added.

    If there are only three candidates for the job, the IMF could announce them imminently. If there are more, it has one week to announce which three will go through to the final shortlist.

    Since its creation, the top job at the IMF has gone to a European, while his or her counterpart at the World Bank has been American.

    China, India, Brazil and Russia have called for this tradition to come to an end, as their economies are now becoming more important in the global economy.

    Correspondents say that while European countries are keen to appoint a European, there's some support for picking a leader from the developing world.

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Christine Lagarde and Agustin Carstens seek IMF support

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