imf.jpgJohannesburg – The next managing director of the IMF should be from a developing country to ensure the interests of all countries are reflected in its operations, SA Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.


Gordhan’s predecessor Trevor Manuel is among potential candidates to succeed IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn should he be forced to leave his post after being accused of trying to rape a maid in his New York hotel room.

“Institutions such as the IMF must reform so that they can become credible, and to be credible they must represent the interests and fully reflect the voices of all countries, not just a few industrialised nations,” Gordhan said in a statement.


“It is against this background that South Africa calls for a candidate from a developing country to be given the opportunity to be the managing director of the IMF.


“Such a candidate will bring a new perspective that will ensure that the interests of all countries, both developed and developing, are fully reflected in the operations and policies of the IMF,” he added, without referring to the case against Strauss-Kahn.


Earlier, a senior Brazilian government official said his country believes the next head of the IMF should come from a large emerging market country, but does not plan to pressure actively on the issue because Europe is likely to keep its “stranglehold” on the job.


“We think it would be appropriate to have someone from emerging countries,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.


“We believe India and Brazil would be good options. But we also believe that Europe is likely to keep its deep stranglehold on the position, and so we’re not planning to push very hard on this issue for now,” the official added.


The future of the International Monetary Fund’s leadership has been in doubt since Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested on Saturday in New York and charged with attempted rape.


The Brazilian official’s comments follow a statement earlier on Tuesday by China’s foreign ministry, which said the selection process for IMF leaders should be based on “fairness, transparency and merit”.


The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, is on record as calling for the reform of bodies such as the United Nations and its Security Council as well as the IMF and World Bank.


The coming in of a new IMF leader from the developing world will likely see a shift in the balance of economic power from Europe to either Brazil, China, or Africa.