The choice of Draghi’s replacement will depend as much on European horse trading as competence. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
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The European Central Bank is heading for a two-year leadership overhaul that peaks with the selection of a successor to President Mario Draghi, and it will be politics as much as ability that determines who get the jobs. Five of the ECB's seven top posts will be vacated by the end of 2019, starting with Vice President Vitor Constancio this June. After a five-year absence from the board, which designs and implements monetary policy, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his administration will put forward a candidate to replace 74-year-old Portuguese national Constancio.While Economy Minister Luis de Guindos – previously executive chairman of the Spanish and Portuguese operations of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., right up to the U.S. bank's collapse in 2008 – is widely tipped to be the government's choice, the 57-year-old could run into opposition from European lawmakers who want a shortlist of at least three names that includes women.The selection of a new vice president is only the first move in the game of chess that will see the replacement of Draghi, chief economist Peter Praet, market-operations head Benoit Coeure and bank-supervision chair Daniele Nouy.Germany has never held the top post and was considered next in line in 2011 until Weidmann's predecessor Axel Weber resigned to protest the ECB's first crisis-fighting measures.Irish Gov. Philip Lane, 48, is in the frame for a post.
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