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EU lawmakers pick Christine Lagarde to head ECB

Former IMF chief Christine Lagarde is set to become the first female president of the European Central Bank. The European Parliament chose her with no other contender for the job.

Lagarde won a comfortable majority of 394 votes, while 206 European legislators voted against her and 49 abstained during the parliament’s plenary meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

However, not everyone was happy with her nomination. Some MEPs sarcastically pointed out that the outcome was not surprising as there were no other contenders to vote for. Others noted that Lagarde did not even bother going to the meeting.

Notably, the European Parliament gives only a non-binding opinion on whether or not a person is suitable to fill the role. However, her appointment looks set to be formalized by EU leaders at October’s European Council summit, shortly before the current ECB chair Mario Draghi resigns.

If approved, her eight-year term as the head of one of the world’s most powerful financial institutions will start on November 1.

Lagarde, a former lawyer, was the first woman to serve as a finance minister from G7 countries and then the first to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2011. She resigned from the IMF earlier this year to get nominated for the top job at the ECB.