IMF’s Lagarde seeks second term in shadow of court case

Paris, January 22

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde launched her campaign for a second term today with ringing endorsements from a host of major economies — and a court case against her looming in her native France.

The former French finance minister who trained as a lawyer has no obvious challengers and has long been open to serving another five-year term. The prime ministers of Britain and France backed her publicly on Thursday.

“I am candidate to a new mandate. I was honoured to receive from the start of the process the backing of France, Britain, Germany, China, Korea,” the 60 year-old told France 2 television in an interview from Davos.

Germany’s finance ministry weighed in with its own endorsement today.

“Germany welcomes the renewed candidacy of Christine Lagarde for a further term as managing director of IMF. Ms Lagarde was a prudent and successful crisis manager in difficult times after the financial crisis,” the finance ministry said.

The first woman to head the fund on her appointment in 2011, Lagarde has been dogged off-and-on since then for her role in a long-running business scandal while she was France’s finance minister.

Last month, a French judge ordered her to face trial for negligence in a special ministerial court over the 2008 payout of some 400 million euros to businessman Bernard Tapie.