IMF Board retains ‘full confidence’ in graft-tainted Lagarde’s leadership
The International Monetary Fund has said it retains "full confidence" in Christine Lagarde's ability to continue to lead the organisation, despite her conviction for negligence in a French court.
The fund's board met in the wake of the court decision finding her guilty in a 2008 case dating back to her tenure as French finance minister. It took into account all factors including her "outstanding leadership of the Fund and the wide respect and trust for her leadership globally."
"In this context, the Executive Board reaffirms its full confidence in the managing director's ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties," the board said in a statement on Monday.
"The Executive Board looks forward to continuing to work with the managing director to address the difficult challenges facing the global economy."
Lagarde told reporters shortly after the IMF statement that while she was not satisfied with the court decision, she would not appeal.
"There comes a point in time when one just has to stop, turn the page, and move on and continue to work with those who have put their trust in me," Lagarde said. "I will put all my energies and enthusiasm into this role."
She also thanked the board and IMF staff for their support during a "painful" process.
The French government earlier on Monday expressed its confidence in Lagarde continuing at the helm of the IMF, and US Treasury Secretary Jacob J Lew issued a statement of support immediately after the board decision. "The United States joins the IMF Executive Board in reaffirming our full support of Managing Director Lagarde," Lew said. "She is a strong leader of the IMF, and we have every confidence in her ability to guide the Fund at a critical time for the global economy."