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France's Lagarde elected to lead International Monetary Fund

Staff Reporter

The International Monetary Fund's board has elected France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as the fund's new managing director.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) board on Tuesday elected France’s Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as the new managing director of the global lender.

“The executive board of the International Monetary Fund today selected Christine Lagarde to serve as IMF managing director and madame chairman of the executive board for a five-year term starting on July 5 2011,” the IMF said in a statement.

Lagarde, it said, “is the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institution’s inception in 1944”.

The 24-member board called both Lagarde and her rival for the position, Mexican central banker Agustin Carstens, “well-qualified candidates” and that it decided on Lagarde by consensus.

The Frenchwoman said she was “deeply honoured” to have been chosen, and France President Nicolas Sarkozy called the news “a victory for France”.

Lagarde said in a statement she would make it her goal that the international lender continue in the same focus and spirit as in the past, looking to achieve “stronger and sustainable growth” and “macroeconomic stability”.

“The French presidency rejoices that a woman is taking on this important international role,” Sarkozy’s office said in a separate statement.

Lagarde’s win was assured after emerging powers China, Russia and Brazil declared their support for her and the United States followed with its endorsement ahead of the meeting of the 24-member board.—Reuters, AFP

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