IMF board recommends rule change that would clear way for Georgieva

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund´s board on Wednesday recommended a rule change that would scrap the age limit for its leader, clearing the path to the top job for Bulgaria´s Kristalina Georgieva.

The IMF steering committee representing the 189 member countries will have to vote on the recommendation, but it is expected to pass.

Georgieva, the European Union´s candidate to serve as IMF managing director, turned 66 on August 13 — which makes her too old for the job by just a few days, under the rules in place since 1951 stipulating that candidates be 65 or younger.

If appointed, Georgieva would become the IMF´s second female managing director after Christine Lagarde, who is stepping down to head the European Central Bank.

IMF rules also prohibit anyone in the top post from serving past their 70th birthday.

“The Executive Board has today recommended that the IMF Board of Governors vote to remove the age limit that currently applies to the position of IMF Managing Director,” according to a statement.

The change, which needs a simple majority of the governors, would bring IMF rules in line with the World Bank, whose president is not subject to an age limit.

Voting is scheduled to run from August 21 to September 4, the IMF said.

The global crisis lender plans to select a new leader to replace Lagarde by October 4.

Nominations are open through September 6, but no other candidates have been put forward and the institution is widely expected to continue the 75-year tradition of picking a European to lead the fund, while an American has always led the IMF´s sister institution, the World Bank.

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