IMF board gives greater voting rights to poor countries

March 29th, 2008 - 10:15 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 29 (DPA) The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board has approved greater voting rights for developing countries in a long sought after deal that has divided rich and poor members of the organisation. IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Friday the new arrangement was only a “first step” that created a more flexible system and had come after long and difficult negotiations with the body’s 185 members.

“There were not easy advances,” said Strauss-Kahn.

Under the new arrangement, which would be re-evaluated every five years, 135 under-represented countries will see the total voting rights shift by 5.4 percent in their favour.

Strauss-Kahn said the changes were part of an effort to boost the lender’s credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of developing countries, which have begun turning to bilateral and regional lending options instead of the IMF and its partner - the World Bank.

The new voting system reflected the realities of the global economy and marked a “major step forward in the modernization of the fund,” Strauss-Kahn said.

The move comes shortly before spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank begin in April. The organization’s 185 members must still approve the new arrangement by a majority of 85 percent.

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