Strauss-Kahn is new IMF Head

It is official.

Former French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Khan was officially selected Sunday to become the 10th Chairman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The only other candidate to head the fund was Josef Tosovsky, a former prime minister of the Czech Republic, who had the backing of Russia.

In a press conference yesterday, Strauss-Kahn has vowed to reform the institution to be more relevant and useful in today's global economy. He also said that the fund will have to reduce its size and functions and improve equality of country representation.

"I defined myself as the candidate for reform," he said. "Now I'm the designated managing director for reform. What I want to do after November 1 is to really be the managing director for reform," he declared.

After long battle for the position, Strauss-Kahn won over the support of the EU and the United States, natural supporters of the institution.

US Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who was nominated by French president Nicolas Sarkosy, “will work to make the bold reforms necessary” at the fund, which provides technical financial advice and on occasion helps rescue countries in balance-of-payments crises.

He is also supported by most of Africa. Strauss-Kahn met with the African govenors to the IMF in August. In a statement Mozambique finance minister Manual Chang said the governors were impressed with his ideas and looking forward to making his reforms a reality.

"They welcomed his commitment to put Africa at the center stage of the reform process, to have regular consultations with them at the highest level, and to take into consideration their concerns should he be selected as Managing Director of the Fund," Chang said.

A long-time politician in French Leftist politics, Strauss-Kahn sought the nomination in the primaries to the Socialist presidential candidacy for the 2007 election, but was defeated by Ségolène Royal in November 2006.


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