IMF boss happy over polls but stays quiet on political plans

2nd December 2010, Comments 0 comments

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Thursday he was happy about polls showing his fellow French citizens like him but dodged questions about whether he would run for France's presidency.

Strauss-Kahn has come under increased pressure to declare whether he will give up his job with the International Monetary Fund to run for the presidency after fellow Socialist, Segolene Royal, said she would be a candidate.

"I am happy that my fellow citizens like me," Strauss-Kahn said in New Delhi when asked about opinion polls showing he was a favoured candidate for president.

"But I have some political experience and I know polls shouldn't be taken too seriously," said Strauss-Kahn, who was in the Indian capital on a one-day trip to meet Indian government leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A recent opinion poll suggested Strauss-Kahn, whose IMF term ends in 2012, would roundly defeat French President Nicolas Sarkozy 59 percent to 41 percent in a second round of the presidential election due to be held in 2012.

Other polls have indicated he is a clear favourite among Socialist party voters.

He is reported to be in no rush to leave his key IMF post in Washington to take part in a lengthy contest for the French presidency.

Royal, who lost to Sarkozy in 2007 after a disastrous campaign, surprised the party heirarchy earlier this week when she announced that would seek the Socialist ticket again in the presidential election.

Royal, known for her populist touch, added Strauss-Kahn would make an excellent prime minister -- considered generally to be a second-fiddle role -- rather than a head of state.

The visit by the former French finance minister came two days before Sarkozy, whose popularity ratings are at all-time lows, is due to make an official trip to India.

Sarkozy is yet to formally announce his candidacy for a second five-year term in office but is widely expected to run.

Another potential Socialist candidate for the presidency is party chief Martine Aubry who defeated Royal in a leadership contest two years ago.

© 2010 AFP

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