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Lagarde makes case to lead IMF

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has made her case to lead the International Monetary Fund.

Ms Lagarde said she outlined her vision for the global lending institution's future in a three-hour meeting with the IMF executive board and in separate one-on-one meetings with its members.

"I believe that the fund should be more responsive, certainly more effective and more legitimate," she said following the meetings.

The board hopes to choose by June 30 between Ms Lagarde and Mexico's central bank head Agustin Carstens. Ms Lagarde is seen as the favourite.

Former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned last month after he was charged with sexually assaulting a New York hotel housekeeper. He denies the allegation.

After hearing presentations from both Mr Carstens and Ms Lagarde and interviewing them, the IMF's executive board said it planned to meet on June 28 to make a selection of a new managing director with the aim of completing that process by June 30.

"I will leave it to their wisdom, to their judgement to complete the process, which has been clearly both open and transparent," Ms Lagarde said.

The United States, the largest shareholder in the IMF, has yet to announce whether it will back Ms Lagarde or Mr Carstens.

Asked about a decision on Tuesday, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called both candidates "very credible" and said the United States wanted to see the race resolved quickly. However, he refused to say whether the Obama administration had decided to back Ms Lagarde.

Mr Geithner, who met with Mr Carstens last week, was also expected to meet Ms Lagarde while she is in Washington this week.

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