Now it’s a two-way horse-race.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has short-listed two candidates, Christine Lagarde and Agustin Carstens, for its next Managing Director.

Stanley Fischer, the governor of Israel's central bank, was recently eliminated from consideration by the Fund, reportedly due to his age (67).

The job became available when the former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was forced to resign after being arrested for sexual assault in New York.

Lagarde, the French Finance Minister has been aggressively lobbying for the post by making a whirlwind trip through several emerging market nations in order to solidify her candidacy.

Meanwhile, others feel that someone like Carstens, the Governor of the Bank of Mexico, might make a better fit given the rising prominence of the developing world in the global economic landscape.

Lagarde is widely regarded as the favorite. She is believed to have the backing not only of the European Union (EU), but also of emerging market countries Egypt, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Carstens has been endorsed by most Latin American nations. He knows he is the dark horse.

I'm not fooling myself. It's like starting a soccer game with a 5-0 score, Carstens said at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on Monday.

Carstens added however that the selection of another European to head the IMF may present a conflict of interest, given the ongoing problems with Euro Zone debt and Greece’s precarious economy.

We could have a situation where borrowers dominate the institution, he said.

Carstens noted the European debt crisis might need a new perspective, that is, from outside the continent.

What will help me is precisely to have a fresh pair of eyes, he said.

Also someone coming from the outside can in a way speak of their mind more frankly and I think that will be an advantage.”

Ricardo Ochoa, chief of international affairs at Mexico's finance ministry, told BBC that Carstens is eminently qualified to take over the IMF.

 He has been on the other side of the table, Ochoa said.

Mexico already has been in the situation where important reforms have to be implemented, and I think that puts him in a situation - to have a more understanding and more sensitive IMF.
The IMF will make its selection by June 30.

The Executive Board will meet with the candidates in Washington DC and, thereafter, meet to discuss the strengths of the candidates and make a selection, the IMF said in a statement.