* European Parliament wanted female candidate
* Mersch known for tough anti-inflation stance
By Claire Davenport
BRUSSELS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Luxembourg central banker Yves Mersch is set to be appointed as the sixth member of the European Central Bank’s executive board by Monday, following a delay amid calls for the bank to appoint a woman instead, EU sources said on Wednesday.
The 63-year old Luxembourg central banker would get the job even though the European Parliament had voted against his appointment to the post a week ago, the sources said.
“Written procedure was launched today with deadline Monday,” one of the sources said.
Written procedure is the final step in an appointment for the executive board, where member states confirm their agreement a last time.
Mersch is an inflation-fighting hardliner whose policy views are close to those of the Bundesbank, the German central bank, which has lacked a close ally on the executive board since German Juergen Stark quit last year.
The decision follows complaints from the parliament that member states were not sufficiently considering female candidates fill the vacant post.
The ECB’s last female policymaker, Austria’s Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, left at the end of her term in 2011.
Currently, all the ECB’s 23-member governing council - made up of the six executive board members and the 17 national central bank chiefs of euro zone states - are men. The next scheduled board vacancy will not be until 2018.
In a plenary vote last Thursday, the European Parliament rejected Mersch’s candidacy by 325 votes to 300, saying insufficient effort had been made to find suitable women candidates for the post. Forty-nine lawmakers abstained.
The vote showed the parliament’s willingness to take a tough stance on such a sensitive issue of economic management at a time of crisis for the single currency.
However, ECB President Mario Draghi said that the executive board should - especially in a time of crisis - be completed and that Mersch’s nomination should go through.
Despite the parliament’s vote, EU member states have the final say on ECB board members. Herman Van Rompuy, the head of the European Council, which represents member states, said that efforts had been made to secure female applicants, and that it was up to member states to put forward qualified candidates.
Mersch was nominated to replace Spain’s Jose Manuel Gonzalez Paramo on the ECB’s top decision-making body, the six-member executive board, at the end of May this year. Mersch is scheduled to take up his post on November 15.