IMF is poised to choose Lagarde as next leader

June 27, 2011 - 5:30 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is expected to be chosen as early as Tuesday to be the new leader of the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde would be the first woman to lead the lending organization. She would replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last month after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel housekeeper. Lagarde was opposed by Agustin Carstens, a Mexican central banker whose candidacy never caught fire, even among developing countries.

Lagarde has broad support in Europe. And a high-ranking Chinese official said Monday that Beijing supports Lagarde, according to several reports.

U.S. officials haven't publicly backed any candidate. But most analysts expect the Obama administration to support Lagarde. Combined, the United States, Europe and China hold a majority of votes on the IMF's board.