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IMF to consider Lagarde, Carstens for top job

By the CNN Wire Staff
The International Monetary Fund is now considering just two contenders, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Mexican Central Bank chief Agustin Carstens.
The International Monetary Fund is now considering just two contenders, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Mexican Central Bank chief Agustin Carstens.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Christine Lagarde, Agustin Carstens jockeying for IMF managing director
  • The top job is left open by Dominique Strauss-Kahn's resignation
  • The selection process is expected to wrap up by the end of the month
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(CNN) -- The International Monetary Fund whittled the candidate pool for its top post Monday, saying it would consider just two contenders, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Mexican Central Bank chief Agustin Carstens.

"The Executive Board will meet with the candidates in Washington, D.C., and, thereafter, meet to discuss the strengths of the candidates and make a selection," the IMF said in a statement, which made no mention of other candidates.

Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer, 67, had thrown his hat in the ring, but IMF requirements bar the appointment of any managing director 65 years old or older.

The head of Kazakhstan's central bank, Grigory Marchenko, told CNN he was withdrawing his bid to head the group Friday, the last day to submit nominations for the position.

The post of IMF chief has historically been reserved for a Western European candidate. Representatives of various developing countries have been trying to break that tradition in the wake of the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is facing charges related to the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in New York.

Lagarde, 55, would be the first woman to run the IMF since the global financial institution was established in 1945 and is considered by many as the front-runner in the race.

The fund is aiming to complete its selection process for Strauss-Kahn's successor by June 30.