This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch, a new global-news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. The article below was originally published in Le Nouvel Observateur.
PARIS All of France is abuzz Friday with news of the overnight story by the New York Times reporting that the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn was "on the verge of collapse." The U.S. newspaper reported that prosecutors had growing doubts about the credibility of the New York hotel maid who levelled the accusations of attempted rape against Strauss-Kahn, a prominent French Socialist Party politician. DSK, as he's often referred to, was forced to resign as head of the International Monetary Fund in the wake of his arrest in May.
Among other reactions, the potentially dramatic reversal of fortune prompted immediate upheaval in France's Socialist Party, where many had earlier counted on Strauss-Kahn as the best hope to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency in 2012. Since his arrest, others have joined the primaries and some formerly diehard Strauss-Kahn supporters shifted allegiances as his candidacy was all but certainly dashed. But could the political chess match shift again if he is exonerated in the coming hours or days?
Socialist Party head Martine Aubry, who just announced this week that she would enter the primaries, told French TV channel Télé: "This news make me immensely happy and I think about his family." Aubry added on Twitter: "I hope with all my heart that American justice will unveil all the truth and get Dominique Strauss Kahn out of this nightmare."
Lionel Jospin, a former Socialist prime minister, said it was premature to talk about Dominique Strauss-Kahn returning to France to enter the race to challenge Sarkozy. "It's too soon to transform into politics such dramatic news that keeps changing before our eyes," said Jospin. "He is the first one who'll have to make a decision after this personal shock. Then the Socialists and their representatives will have to decide."
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