French Socialists on Tuesday rallied to put on a united front as former colleague Dominique Strauss-Kahn remains in custody in New York.
The scandal has blown next year’s presidential race wide open with many wondering who could fill Strauss Kahn’s shoes as the left’s potential candidate to take on Nicolas Sarkozy.
Leader Martine Aubry spoke to reporters after talks with senior party members:
“We needed to be together to think about this sad event, but also because we know what the French people expect of us. We needed to remind ourselves of our goal and that was really the state of mind of the members at the meeting,” said Aubry.
With Strauss-Kahn sidelined as a leading contender, Aubry could decide to run herself.
But the architect of France’s 35-hour work week only comes out as second-favourite in polls of left-leaning voters.
Surveys say Francois Hollande has a 37 percent approval rating, while his former partner and one-time Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal is on 14 percent.
Hollande, himself a former party leader, tried and failed to secure the Socialist nomination at the last presidential poll four years ago.
French Socialist Party puts on a united front