May 26th, 2011
03:58 PM GMT
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May 26th, 2011
03:26 AM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) – So the gloves are off.

The four BRIC countries plus South Africa have joined forces to oppose the automatic choice of a European as head of the IMF.

This is significant step.

For the first time there is a unified voice from the emerging world to match the voice of Europe, now rallying behind French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.

From a gaggle of un-coordinated statements from emerging economies over the past two weeks, comes a crystal clear - and powerful - voice.

A message jointly signed by China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. They wrote: "We believe that, if the Fund is to have credibility and legitimacy, its Managing Director should be selected after broad consultation with the membership. It should result in the most competent person being appointed as Managing Director, regardless of his or her nationality. We also believe that adequate representation of emerging market and developing members in the Fund's management is critical to its legitimacy and effectiveness."

But the ball is still in their court. The next step is a candidate the emerging economies can rally behind.

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