WB president should not be restricted to Americans: Krishna

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With the race for a new World Bank chief gathering steam, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Friday said its next president should be selected on the basis of merit and the choice shouldn't be restricted to US nationals.

"If in the past US had representatives as head of the World Bank, it is now necessary for other countries to come out with suitable names of candidates who have the wisdom and merit to hold the post," Krishna said on the sidelines of a seminar here organised by the Singapore-based Institute of South Asian Studies.

World Bank President should be selected from anywhere, he said.

India doesn't believe in competition in this issue and solution has to be found through consensus and backroom negotiations and the criteria should be the merit, he said.

Ever since the incumbent Robert Zoellick announced last month his decision to step down from the coveted post of the world's most influential banker, names of a number of potential successors have been doing the rounds.

The probable names in initial days even included Hillary Clinton, currently the US Secretary of State, but her office later clarified that she was not in the race.

The names doing the rounds also include the US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, his predecessor Larry Summers and Bangladesh's Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus.

No official word has come on any of these people. Meanwhile, media reports had said on Thursday that US Senator John Kerry, ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and economist Lawrence Summers have been shortlisted to be the next World Bank head.

The nominations can be filed for the post of World Bank chief till March 23.

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