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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Former French Minister Favored to Get IMF Job

WASHINGTON -- Former French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the front-runner to take over the top job at the International Monetary Fund as a deadline passed on Friday for nominating successors to Rodrigo Rato.

Strauss-Kahn and former Czech central banker Josef Tosovsky -- who is backed by Russia but not by the Czech Republic -- were the only two nominees as successors to Rato as managing director of the fund.

Strauss-Kahn has the backing of the European Union to head the IMF, which gives his candidacy considerable clout on the IMF board. Russia said Strauss-Kahn lacked the technical expertise to head the IMF and that it considered Tosovsky a stronger candidate.

A decision will be made by the IMF's board in the coming weeks on who wins the influential post to head the Washington-based global financial institution.

In a statement issued Friday evening, the IMF said its executive board would assess the two nominees' professional record and qualifications, interview them in Washington, "and thereafter meet to discuss the strengths of the candidates and make a selection."

The IMF job became vacant open in July after the sudden resignation of Rato, who was in the midst of reforming the fund. The overhaul aims to strengthen the way the IMF monitors the world economy and revamp its voting structures to better reflect the rise of new economic powers like China.

Strauss-Kahn has campaigned vigorously for the position, traveling the world to lobby financial leaders. Tosovsky's name was put forward by Russia in late August.

Several developing countries, including Russia, have been arguing that a decades-old convention of having the United States select the World Bank chief and Europe choose the head of the IMF was outdated and should be dropped in recognition of the growing might of emerging economies.

Neither candidate appears to have stirred rousing support.

The Czech Republic said it favored Strauss-Kahn over Tosovsky, while the United States has kept its distance from the maneuvering to pick Rato's successor.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in July that he considered Strauss-Kahn a good candidate to head the institute, but stopped short of fully backing him for the job.