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Former IMF boss Strauss-Kahn runner-up in French presidential poll

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and girlfriend Myriam L'Aouffir watch the French Cup final with Green Party Senator Jean-Vincent Placé on May 30, 2015
Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and girlfriend Myriam L'Aouffir watch the French Cup final with Green Party Senator Jean-Vincent Placé on May 30, 2015 Franck Fife, AFP

Embattled former IMF chief and one-time Socialist politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn is back on a list of leading left-wing presidential candidates in France, according to a new opinion poll.

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Strauss-Kahn, who has beaten a string of sex crime allegations in the past four years, finished second among a group of Socialist Party figures regarded as potential candidates in France’s 2017 presidential election.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls beat Strauss-Kahn in the study by French polling firm Viavoice, which asked would-be voters who would make a “good candidate” for the Left in the 2017 ballot.

Valls claimed 47 percent support, with Strauss-Kahn as the runner-up with 37 percent. Former presidential candidate and current Environment Minister Ségolène Royal finished third with 32 percent of votes.

French President François Hollande managed only 23 percent support, finishing fifth among left-wing leaders, the study revealed.

It also showed that former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy was the overall frontrunner in the presidential race at the moment.

Less popular on the Left

However, Strauss-Kahn proved to be less popular among Socialist Party sympathisers who participated in the survey. Constituents who tend to vote for left-wing candidates favoured PM Valls, Lille Mayor Martine Aubry, Royal and Hollande over the disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief.

French constituents tend to turn a blind-eye to politician’s private affairs, but many have wondered if voters could ever see past the litany of sordid details about Strauss-Kahn's sexual predilections, which were exposed during several investigations.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York on May 14, 2011 on charges of sexually assaulting a chamber maid in a luxury Manhattan hotel. At the time he was considered the leading presidential hopeful in his native France.

He eventually avoided prosecution in the United States, and on June 12 of this year beat completely separate charges of participating in a prostitution ring in northern France.

Since returning to his home country, Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister, has struggled to launch a consulting firm amid his swirling legal troubles. He has yet to make any mention of returning to politics. He nevertheless made a bizarre public debut on Twitter on June 22, writing "Hello twitter! Jack is back" on the popular social media platform.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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