France's Finance and Economy Minister Christine Lagarde will chat on Twitter and Facebook today (June 9). (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) (Jacques Brinon)

The debate over who will claim the top post has largely centered on whether the chief should hail from Europe or a developing nation. Europe wants to hang on to a powerful job that it has typically occupied, but others have suggested that selecting a leader from an emerging nation would be an important recognition of these countries’ growing importance in the global economy.

So far, much of the conversation about who will jockey for the job has been largely speculative. Analysts have suggested that Stanley Fischer of Israel, Trevor Manuel of South Africa or Montek Singh Ahluwalia of India might be contenders.

But two leaders have officially declared their candidacies: Agustin Carstens of Mexico and Christine Lagarde of France.

Carstens, the chief of Mexico’s central bank, is traveling the world this week to promote his credentials. As The Washington Post’s Howard Schneider reported last week, Carstens’s credentials are strong, but many analysts regard him as a long shot. So far, Uruguay is the only nation to throw its support behind him.

Lagarde, the French Finance Minister, who already has the support of many European nations, visited leaders in China and India this week in an effort to win their backing. Today, she’ll make her case on Twitter and Facebook, where she is scheduled to take questions from users for an hour beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time. We’ll post the Twitter conversation here when it gets underway.

Have questions about the candidates and the succession process at the IMF? The Post will be holding its own chat with Sebastian Mallaby of the Council on Foreign Relations at 1 p.m. EDT.