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IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva to continue after board gives clean chit on China data-rigging scandal

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Georgieva was accused of boosting China’s position in the ‘Doing Business’ report in an effort to placate Beijing. Her extension may not be smooth sailing as large stakeholders like US may demand her resignation if fresh data is unearthed.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva to continue after board gives clean chit on China data-rigging scandal
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided to allow Kristalina Georgieva to continue as the director and chair of the organisation after she was accused of boosting China’s position in the important ‘Doing Business’ report.
Georgieva’s position had been unconfirmed until the announcement from the IMF board on October 12. The 24-member board expressed “full confidence” in its managing director in response to allegations that World Bank staff had been pressurized to change business rankings for China in an effort to placate Beijing.
Georgieva has denied the allegations calling them unfounded.
“Trust and integrity are the cornerstones of the multinational organisations that I have faithfully served for more than four decades,” Georgieva said in a statement after the board affirmed her continued tenure.
Even though her tenure has been confirmed, the revelations of the report are going to dominate many of the discussions.
“The executive board considered that the information presented in the course of its review did not conclusively demonstrate that the managing director played an improper role regarding the Doing Business 2018 Report when she was CEO of the World Bank,” IMF said in a statement.
The board had held eight meetings in order to ascertain the nature of the claims and reach a decision.
“Having looked at all the evidence presented, the executive board reaffirms its full confidence in the managing director’s leadership and ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties,” the statement added.
While Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist, will continue to preside over the international lender, her tenure is expected to be bumpy. Large stakeholders of the fund may call for her resignation if more evidence is unearthed. The US, the largest shareholder of both the IMF and World Bank, had called the allegations “serious” and was considering calling for her resignation.
Janet Yellen, the US Secretary of Treasury, in a call to Georgieva had said the report “raised legitimate issues and concerns” even as it decided not to interfere in Georgieva’s extended tenure.
“Accordingly, the US believes proactive steps must be taken to reinforce data integrity and credibility at the IMF,” the Treasury said in a statement.
The latest scandal throws light on the pressures under which international organisations operate and how tensions between major geopolitical powers can activate hidden biases.
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