"Reports that the New York prosecution case for alleged sexual assault against Dominique Strauss-Kahn could be close to collapse have stunned France and revived hopes that he may return to politics," The Guardian says.
As NPR's Carrie Johnson reported for us last evening, "two sources, confirming portions of a report on the website of The New York Times, say government officials themselves have uncovered inconsistencies and possible misstatements" by the Manhattan hotel maid who in May accused Strauss-Kahn of assault.
Strauss-Kahn, who at the time of the alleged assault was head of the International Monetary Fund, had been widely viewed as a potential Socialist Party candidate in the May 2012 French presidential elections.
Now, according to the Guardian, "Socialist MP Jean-Marie Le Guen, a firm ally of Strauss-Kahn, expressed his 'immense joy' at developments, saying it was 'the end of the nightmare' for the former head of the International Monetary Fund who would now 'be present in the presidential campaign' " — though he stopped short of saying Strauss-Kahn might be a candidate.
France 24 writes that "unsurprisingly, after the New York Times story broke, DSKs socialist allies came out in a chorus of support for the veteran politician, flooding the airwaves with calls for his political rehabilitation, even before a conclusion of the legal process on the other side of the Atlantic." And it adds that:
"The deadline for candidates to put themselves forward for the PS primaries (which he was tipped to win by a wide margin) passed at the beginning of this week. Many on the French left are now calling for that process to be put on hold.
"Francois Pupponi, deputy mayor of Sarcelles, where DSK was mayor himself, told FRANCE 24: 'If the charges are dropped and he is cleared there is no reason why he should not be rehabilitated both at the IMF and in terms of his political career in France.' "
As Eleanor Beardsley reports for NPR, the Socialist Party has reason to be relieved because Strauss-Kahn's arrested had "plunged the left into despair and disarray."
Strauss-Kahn is due at a court hearing in New York City at 11:30 a.m. ET.