WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the removal of the age limit for the position of IMF managing director, paving the way for Kristalina Georgieva to head the multilateral lender.
Since 1951, the IMF's bylaws had prohibited the appointment of a candidate aged 65 or over as managing director, and had also prohibited the managing director from serving past his/her 70th birthday, the IMF executive board said in a statement Thursday.
The board of governors has approved the proposal by the executive board to remove the age limit for the position of IMF managing director, it said.
The amendment, effective immediately, brings the managing director's terms of appointment into line with those of members of the IMF executive board, which the managing director chairs, and those of the president of the World Bank, who are not subject to an age limit, the executive board said.
The 66-year-old Georgieva, a Bulgarian national, served on the European Commission and has been chief executive officer of the World Bank since January 2017. So far the only candidate, Georgieva was selected by the Eurpean Union to lead the IMF after narrowly defeating former Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
The position of IMF chief has always been held by Europeans while the head of the World Bank has traditionally been American, an informal arrangement that has stayed in place for over seven decades.
In July, Christine Lagarde announced her resignation from the IMF position with effect from Sept. 12, 2019, shortly after she was nominated for the presidency of the European Central Bank (ECB), triggering a selection process for the global lender's next managing director.
Nominations to the position close on Sept. 6, and the IMF executive board intend to complete the selection process by Oct. 4.