The finance ministers of France and Singapore are among the names being floated to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as early as June 30 as the head of the International Monetary Fund, a bank of last resort for the world's nations.
The fund on Friday laid out the process for selecting a new managing director. Kahn resigned Wednesday to focus on defending himself in New York against charges he sexually attacked and attempted to rape a hotel worker.
A shortlist is expected to be presented to the IMF executive board at least by June 10, with the nomination period starting on May 23, the IMF said in a released statement.
Only members of the executive board can nominate candidates.
The shortlisting process will take into account candidates who receive the most support, the and the fund's weighted voting system.
On Friday German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised French finance minister Christine Lagarde.
I can say that among the names that have been named, who all have a good reputation, I also very much appreciate the French finance minister, she said according to the Associated Press.
She added: that has not been known only since yesterday, and it is not an announcement of the candidacy - it is only a general remark.
A pair of finance ministers from Southeast Asian nations backed Singapore finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
Philippine Finance Secretary Cesasr Purisima told Bloomber TV on Friday that Shanmugaratnam is certainly well qualified and that the IMF should consider all candidates including those from Asia and Latin America.
Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanjj said Asia has good candidates, including Shanmugaratnam, according to Bloomberg.
Among the directors on the IMF executive board, appointees include those from the U.S., Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The other 19 from around the world, most representing multiple countries, are elected.
The U.S has 16.8 percent control of the fund's vote total, Japan has 6.25 percent, Germany has 5.83 percent, France and the United Kingdom have 4.3 percent each.
The rest of the members in the 187-member body combine for about 63 percent of the voting power
The successful candidate will have a distinguished record in economic policymaking at senior levels, said Shakour Shaalan, Dean of the Executive Board on Friday.
The candidate will also need to have an outstanding professional background, will have demonstrated the managerial and diplomatic skills needed to lead a global institution, and will be a national of any of the Fund's members, which total 187.
The people authorized to nominate for the open position are a Fund Governor or an Executive Director. The nomination period will last from May 23, 2011 to June 10, 2011. The names are not expected to be officially released until the end of the nomination period.
The IMF Board will then present at least three nominees who have confirmed their desire to be candidates.
The names shall be kept in confidence until at least three are nominated taking into account the above candidate profile without geographical preferences.
The shortlisting process will take at most seven days after the Board learns of the short list.
The shortlist will be adopted by a majority of votes cast. It will then be published.