The appointment of new Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised polemics on the criteria of that personality : The director of the IMF is elected in accordance with its effectiveness or depending on the political balance between the major powers?

The resignation of IMF Director Rodrigo Rato, a few weeks after the departure of President of the World Bank (WB) Paul Wolfowitz, revealed the "deep crisis" evidenced by international institutions.

In this context, Damien Meyer, chairman of the Committee of the cancellation of Third World debt, said that the announcement of the sudden resignation of Rato demonstrates the "fog" in international institutions and "marks a new phase of uncertainty". "The performance of the WB and IMF has been widely criticized, while the two institutions were satisfied with conducting minor adjustments".

For his part, Sebastian Formy of the NGO "Oxfam", said that the IMF was "in the worst situation" during the mandate of Rato, despite the start of the implementation of certain reforms. "But these reforms require a lot of time", he added. According to him, "Rato has raised several issues including the representation of developing giants like China and India, but awarding two years to reform the management of the institution is a very long period".

Formy explains that several countries have paid their debts in advance and have threatened to withdraw from the IMF, when it began to review its role for the first time since its inception in 1944.

The scandal of the former president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, who has raised the salary of his girlfriend Reza Shah, has shaken confidence in the WB, especially the president. This scandal has raised international pressure to call for the resignation of Wolfowitz, appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush despite criticism of thi choice.

After the resignation of Wolfowitz, Bush named Robert Zoellick to the same post.

France had then expressed his desire to appoint one of its citizens to succeed Rato at the head the IMF. An ad that has raised again the question of criteria for appointment to these international posts.

Specialists in the field of development in Washington believe that the succession of Rodrigo Rato is to be an opportunity to break with political appointments and adoption of effective choice. For Dini Trai, head of the IMF in Vietnam and Vice-President of global development center (an independent American research), said that the appointments to international posts should not be linked to nationality.

The idea to appoint a Frenchman at the head the IMF came after the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has announced that he would support the candidacy of Socialist and former Minister of Economy, Dominique Strauss Khan, to the post. Sarkozy also met Laurent Fabius, former French prime minister and former candidate for the post of Director of the IMF, which raised the probability that Fabius would inter the race for the post once again.

The spokesman of the French presidency said that Sarkozy will support the candidacy of one of two Socialist Laurent Fabius and Dominique Strauss Khan at the head of the IMF. A statment which come as part of the strategy followed by the French president to be opened to leftist parties.

Danny Bradley, Director of International Law at American University in Washington, believes that countries should elect "carefully" the person who will lead the international organization. Bradley added that such a careful choice does not diminish the effectiveness of Fabius and Straus Khan. "If France wants to put their candidates, it must do so through a process more open and transparent with the participation of other countries", he said in reference to the need to move away from political manipulation and achieving personal goals.

In this context, Trai believes that Europeans should at least define the skills they need, and organize a selection process "relatively transparent" to determine which candidate is best for the job.

For his part, Deputy Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, Mark Weissbrodt, said that it would be surprising if the IMF does not do symbolic reforms, including the election of its chairman, according to the criterion of "efficiency".

According to an unwritten tradition, the United States appoint the chairman of the WB, while the Europeans are responsible for the appointment of the Director of the IMF.

The appointment of a Frenchman at the head the IMF would not be a first for the European Union (EU) since the inception of the IMF 61 years ago, three Frenchmen have held the post for over 30 years.

Despite the effectiveness demonstrated by Fabius and Straus Khan when they were Minister of Economy in France, Fabius's candidacy for the post of Director of the IMF could be refused by the EU because of its rejection of the European constitution.

Daniel Bradley said that France could compete with other European countries wishing to propose a person for the post. Since the announcement of Rato's resignation on June 28 last, the media have echoed names of other senior EU officials, as the Italian Minister for the Economy Tommaso Padua-Cioba, the governor of the Italian Central Bank Mario Draghi, also the former governor of the Central Bank of Poland, Leszek Balserovsky and former Polish Prime Minister Maric Belca.