2016 Elections for IMF and EBRD Presidency

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director (President) of IMF has confirmed that she will run for her second term. She has already taken the support of most of the big shareholders of IMF such as China, US, UK, and Korea. She has become the first female Managing Director of IMF.

Since its inception at 1946, IMF has been managed by 11 Managing Directors and 5 of them were French. French Managing Directors have been ruled IMF for 41 years more than half of its 70 years of history. IMF has 188 member countries and only 6 of them had the privilege of ruling this institution.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Reconstruction and Development Bank (EBRD) has also released his intention for the second term of service for the Presidency of EBRD. He was elected in July 2012 as a candidate of UK. EBRD was established at 1991. Since that time EBRD has been managed by 6 Presidents and 3 of them were from France. French Presidents ruled EBRD more than 15 years.

Can other countries nominate for Presidency?

Any member country could nominate for the Presidency of EBRD and IMF. According to the IMF Articles of Agreement, only Executive Directors can nominate for the election of Managing Director. There are 24 members at the Board of Executive Directors of IMF and they are representing 188 countries. Therefore, some Executive Directors are representing more than one country. If a member country, represented by another country in Board of Executive Directors, would like to nominate a candidate, its candidate cannot be nominated by itself. However since 2011, IMF Board of Executive Directors has accepted nomination from any Governor of a member country. Some MDBs have certain restrictions for the nationality of their President. Presidents of the African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank should be nominated only from regional members which are mostly recipient (borrower) member countries of these Banks. For EBRD Presidency, all member countries can nominate.

Can all members vote for elections?

Among all international financial institutions only Presidents of IMF and World Bank are elected by Board of Executive Directors. Presidents of all MDBs are elected by Board of Governors in which all members are represented by themselves. It is true that all countries are also represented by Board of Executive Directors. However for the election of IMF Managing Director, some members of a certain constituency (group of countries represented by one Executive Director) could have different positions and there is not split vote (separate voting for each member of constituency) in the Board of Executive Directors of IMF. Executive Directors do not have any option to vote separately for the countries represented by themselves. They are using block votes. Not having a split vote might also decrease the number of focus countries addressed by each candidate during the elections.

Is there a special voting procedure for the election?

Majority of the votes cast at the Board of Executive Directors is required for the election of the IMF Managing Director. This is the simple majority requirement for any decision of the Board. For EBRD majority of the total votes and majority of total number of Governors is required. Most of the MDBs select their Presidents with special voting requirements. Having high voting threshold is important to secure more mutual agreement on the election of a President.

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