Blogs & Comment

Arrest puts Strauss-Kahn IMF, French political career on the rocks

Recently considered a favoured French presidential candidate, IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is expected to be arraigned in New York on sexual assault charges today.


Back in our March 28th issue, I took a look at the presidential hopes of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was giving off strong signals — amid even stronger polling numbers — that he would run as the Socialist Party candidate in next year’s France election. But on Saturday, the 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn was pulled off a flight destined for Paris in New York and charged with sexually assaulting a maid in his hotel room.

While his attorney Benjamin Branfman, who’s defended the likes of P. Diddy, Jay Z and NFLer Plaxico Burress, said Strauss-Kahn will plead not guilty, based on this arrest and the re-emergence of past indiscretions, his presidential hopes are significantly dimmer than they were just eight weeks ago.

Some reaction to his arrest from the Associated Press:

“It’s humiliating for the IMF and humiliating for our country.” — French lawmaker Bernard Debre.

“I think his political career is over. … (seducing women) was Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s Achilles heel. We knew he had a fragility in this sense.” — Philippe Martinat, co-author of a book called “DSK-Sarkozy: The Duel.”

“It’s totally hallucinating. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life… He is one of my rivals, but it’s possible he could have slipped on a banana peel that could have been put under his shoe.” — Dominique Paille, centre-right politician and rival to Strauss-Kahn 

“Perhaps this affair will unravel very quickly, if we learn that there is in the end no serious charge and that what was said by this women was not true, and we all wish for this. … To commit an act of such seriousness, this does not resemble the man I know.” — former Socialist Party boss Francois Hollande

“Dominique Strauss-Kahn has the right, like everybody, to the presumption of innocence. We have to allow justice to do its work in complete serenity. My thoughts go to the man in this difficult time and to his family.” — Segolene Royal, who beat Strauss-Kahn in the Socialist primary for the 2007 French presidential election