Finland’s Olli Rehn bows out of contest for IMF head nomination

The governor of Finland’s Central Bank Olli Rehn has announced the withdrawal of his candidacy for nomination as the European candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund, the IMF.

“The job is extremely meaningful and motivating. At this stage I am withdrawing from the vote so that we may achieve a broad consensus on a European candidate and also secure international support for them,” Rehn said in a tweet on Friday afternoon.

On Friday, EU finance ministers began voting to nominate a candidate from the continent to compete for the top job at the international financial institution.

Apart from Rehn, a former EU commissioner, other frontrunners in the contest included Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch former head of the Eurogroup of EU finance ministers and the Bulgarian economist, politician and another former EU commissioner Kristaline Georgieva.

Two other candidates, Spanish finance minister Nadia Calviño and Mário Centeno, a Portuguese economist and current Eurogroup chief bowed out of the race earlier on.

The outgoing head IMF chief, France’s Christine Lagarde is leaving the institution to become president of the European Central Bank, the first woman to hold the position.

Based in Washington, the IMF will stop accepting applications for the position on 6 September.