The International Monetary Fund has said it will accept nominations to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director from Monday.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde emerged yesterday as Europe's choice to lead the IMF, getting a boost when a Turkish favourite ruled out his candidacy for the powerful job.

Even as leaders in emerging economies clamoured for one of their own to take a job monopolised by Europeans since 1946, analysts called Ms Lagarde the odds-on favourite to replace Mr Strauss-Kahn.

Ms Lagarde is 'practically a shoo-in' as the European Union's candidate to succeed Mr Strauss-Kahn, an EU source said.

Under a long-standing arrangement between Europe and the United States, a European has always held the top IMF job, while an American leads its sister institution, the World Bank.

But emerging powers China and Brazil are calling for an end to the arrangement to give an opportunity to a candidate from a developing nation.

The EU has staked a claim to retain the IMF leadership to help tackle its debt crisis.

55-year-old Ms Lagarde, already the first woman finance minister of a Group of Seven country, would become the first woman to head the IMF, if appointed.

The IMF hopes to select Mr Strauss-Kahn's successor by the end of June, it said in a statement.

'I am very pleased to announce that the Fund's Executive Board has adopted a procedure that allows the selection of the next managing director to take place in an open, merit-based, and transparent manner,' A Shakour Shaalan, dean of the IMF executive board, said.

An individual 'may be nominated for the position of managing director by a Fund Governor or an Executive Director during a nomination period which shall commence on May 23, 2011 and will close on June 10, 2011,' said the IMF.

The board's aim 'is to select the managing director by consensus with the objective of completing the selection process by June 30, 2011.'

62-year-old Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF on Wednesday after being charged with attempting to rape a hotel chambermaid in New York last weekend.

Mr Strauss-Kahn has denied charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.

He was freed on bail yesterday.