The managing director of the International Monetary Fund,-IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport in the US, minutes before it was to depart for Paris on Saturday, in connection with the sexual attack of a maid at a hotel in Manhattan in the state of New York.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, was apprehended on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault on a 32-year-old chambermaid in the hotel.
No matter the outcome of this case, it will most likely throw the French political world into turmoil and the Socialist Party into an embarrassed confusion. Strauss-Kahn, a leading member of the party, has been considered the front-runner for the next presidential election in France in May 2012. Opinion polls have shown him to be the Socialists’ most popular candidate and running well ahead of the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, who leads the center-right party. France has been waiting for Mr. Strauss-Kahn to decide whether to run for his party’s nomination in a series of primaries, which would mean giving up his post at the fund.