Strauss-Kahn does not rule out French presidential run

5th February 2010, Comments 0 comments

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund told French radio that he could "in certain circumstances" reconsider whether to stay in Washington.

Paris – IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Thursday left open the possibility of quitting his Washington-based job to run for the French presidency.

Polls show the former French finance minister is a more popular choice to become the left's candidate in the 2012 presidential race than the current Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry.

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund told French radio that he could "in certain circumstances" reconsider whether to stay in Washington.

"For the time being, I intend to serve out my mandate but if you are asking me if, in certain circumstances, I could reconsider the issue, the answer is 'yes', 'yes' I could reconsider the issue," Strauss-Kahn told RTL radio.

The 60-year-old Socialist became IMF chief in 2007 at the recommendation of Sarkozy. His five-year term ends in November 2012.

An economist who has earned a reputation as a pragmatist, Strauss-Kahn lost a bid to win the Socialist nomination to Segolene Royal, who was defeated by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

A poll published at the weekend showed 23 percent of the French considered Strauss-Kahn to be the left's best hope of beating Sarkozy in 2012, ahead of 20 percent who named Aubry as the top contender.

Royal came far behind with nine percent of support, according to the Ifop poll.

Sarkozy, who is struggling with poor approval ratings, has not formally announced that he plans to run for a second term. But he is widely expected to do so.

A CSA poll published on Thursday in Marianne news weekly suggested that Strauss-Kahn would defeat Sarkozy if the pair went head to head for the presidency, by a margin of 52 percent against 48.

Known by his initials "DSK", Strauss-Kahn has long been seen as a presidential contender although he would face the formidable challenge of uniting the weak and squabbling opposition Socialists.

The silver-haired politician was cleared in 2008 of any wrongdoing in a scandal involving an IMF employee who accused him of abusing his position by forcing her to have an affair with him.

Former Socialist party chief Francois Hollande, who is also said to be angling for the presidential nomination, downplayed Strauss-Kahn's comments, saying he had "revealed nothing" about his intentions.

Aubry, the current party leader, has said the Socialists could hold a primary next year to choose its presidential candidate.

Strauss-Kahn took the reins at the IMF in September 2007, promising deep reforms of the international institution to restore its relevance.

But it was the financial meltdown of 2008 that returned the IMF and its managing director to the forefront of global economics as countries desperately sought a coordinated approach to the crisis.

Strauss-Kahn has since travelled the world, offering advice and assessments on the state of the world economy as countries took steps to pull themselves out of recession.

AFP / Expatica

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