As Case Implodes, Strauss-Kahn Allies Eye Presidency
Turnaround in case shakes up French politics
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2011 5:02 AM CDT
Updated Jul 1, 2011 7:51 AM CDT
Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears at his arraignment on charges of sexual assault early last month.   (AP Photo/Allan Tannenbaum, Pool)

(Newser) – Dominique Strauss-Kahn's old job has been filled, but supporters waking to the news that the sexual assault case against him is collapsing have a new one in mind for him: president of France. Before his arrest, the former IMF chief was considered a leading contender to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's election, and his allies are now urging the Socialist Party to put its primary process on hold until he returns to France, reports AP.

"I am a happy man, happy for him and for our country,” former Socialist culture minister Jack Lang tells the New York Times. "“You can’t play with the honor and dignity of someone. His life was temporarily broken, his honor put into question." The news is "like a thunderbolt," says former Socialist leader Lionel Jospin. Other French politicians, however, note that the case against Strauss-Kahn is ongoing and it may be too soon to pop the champagne.