France's citizenry are divided over whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn should re-enter French politics after the weakening of the sexual assault case against him, a new poll suggests.
Le Parisien poll
Q: Without prejudging his innocence or guilt, do you want DSK to come back to the French political scene one day?
- Yes: 49%
- No: 45%
- No answer: 6%
Forty-nine per cent of those surveyed in the Harris Interactive poll for French newspaper Le Parisien responded yes to the question, "Without prejudging his innocence or guilt, do you want DSK to come back to the French political scene one day?"
Forty-five per cent said no and six per cent didn't answer the question, according to the poll published Sunday in Le Parisien. The agency asked a demographically representative group of 1,000 people 18 years old and older to fill out the online survey on Friday and Saturday. No margin of error was provided.
Left-leaning voters were more favourable to a return to politics by former International Monetary Fund chief Strauss-Kahn, the man who was once the Socialist Party's main contender to face off against President Nicolas Sarkozy in next April's presidential election.
Sixty per cent of left-leaning voters said they would want DSK back in French politics someday, according to the poll, and 38 per cent said no. Strauss-Kahn served stints as France's finance minister and industry minister in the 1990s.
On the more pressing question of whether the Socialists should suspend the presidential primary calendar because of the new developments in his case, respondents were also evenly split. Forty-nine per cent of all French and 47 per cent of left-leaning voters said no.
Strauss-Kahn's next court date is July 18, while the Socialist Party has set a July 13 deadline for candidates to declare whether they will run in the primary, now scheduled for Oct. 9 and Oct. 16.
A close ally of Strauss-Kahn's said the former IMF chief "will be an important actor in the campaign if he wants to, whose voice will be listened to."
In an interview in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper Sunday, Socialist Party legislator Pierre Moscovici said he has not spoken with Strauss-Kahn since before he was freed from house arrest in New York on Friday. He said it is "premature" to speculate on what role Strauss-Kahn could yet play in French politics.
"When he regains his freedom and he is cleared, all options are open to him," Moscovici said.