In Brazil, Lula aide seeks to delay Inter-American bank leader election

BRASÍLIA/RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 11 (Reuters) - An aide to Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wants to delay the Nov. 20 election for leader of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) until next year and is seeking U.S. support for the move.

Former Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who is on Lula's transition team, said he sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and spoke with representatives of other Latin American countries "to look for a candidate that represents union."

"The Bolsonaro government would not be able to convince anyone, countries do not like the Bolsonaro government and the Bolsonaro management," he said in an interview with TV channel GloboNews, adding he had talked to Lula about his move.

Outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro had nominated former central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn to run for IDB leader. But Lula allies have questioned the legitimacy of his candidacy, arguing that the IDB election should be postponed until next year so Brazil's nomination can reflect its newly elected government.

The U.S. Treasury did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Wednesday, Mantega told Reuters he was talking to "several governors" at the IDB to seek to postpone the election until after leftist Lula takes office on Jan. 1.

"It only takes a third of the collegiate not to show up to postpone the vote," said Mantega.

According to IDB regulations, a quorum for any meeting must be an absolute majority of governors, including a majority of regional members, "representing not less than two-thirds of the total voting power of the member countries."

The U.S. Treasury, which has said it will not nominate any candidate, holds 30% voting power in the bank, followed by Brazil (11%) and Argentina (11%). Colombia and Chile each hold a 3% stake.

A source, who works at the IDB and had initially confirmed the letter, said the chances of a postponement are unlikely, with several other regional nations hoping their candidates will replace Mauricio Claver-Carone, the former IDB chief who was ousted in an ethics scandal.

Argentina announced on Friday that it would nominate international economic relations Secretary Cecilia Todesca Bocco as its candidate. Also competing for the post are Mexico central bank Deputy Governor Gerardo Esquivel and Chile's former Finance Minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre.

Reporting by Marcela Ayres and Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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