By Cassandra Garrison
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Argentina's government said on Thursday that it will abstain from voting - and called on other countries to do the same - in the upcoming election of a new president at Latin America's main financing institution.
Argentina said holding the vote on Sept. 12 runs the risk of "deepening the division" in the region, in a statement shared by the Casa Rosada presidential palace.
The South American nation is among several Latin American countries that called for an election delay after President Donald Trump put forward senior adviser Mauricio Claver-Carone, who is poised to win as the first candidate from outside the region.
"By stating our position and inviting the rest of the member countries of the IDB to exercise in the same sense their abstention in the next assembly, we also echo the inappropriateness of holding the event in the midst of a pandemic that has not allowed an adequate and settled debate on the future of the IDB," the statement said.
Argentina's decision to abstain underscores its opposition to Claver-Carone, known for his tough stance on Venezuela and Cuba, as head of the IDB, responsible for some $12 billion in financing last year. The bank has been helmed by Latin American leaders since its inception in 1959.
Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Costa Rica, which had all publicly opposed the Sept. 12 election date, had appeared close to having the 25% vote needed to prevent a quorum and delay the vote. Some countries, however, have privately conceded they did not garner enough support to block the vote from happening.
(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison Editing by Shri Navaratnam)