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Sarkozy Says He Won’t Take Lessons From Strauss-Kahn’s Party

May 02, 2012

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Socialist rival Francois Hollande that he won’t accept lessons from the political party that was home to former International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

“I won’t accept lessons from a political party that was enthusiastically uniting behind Dominique Strauss-Kahn,” Sarkozy said in a hard-fought debate four days before France’s election.

Strauss-Kahn left his job at the IMF last year after facing charges of raping a maid in a New York hotel room. Prosecutors later dropped the case. The former Socialist minister also dropped his ambitions to run for the French presidency following the scandal.

“I was sure you were going to bring that up,” Hollande retorted. “You put him at the head of the IMF.”

The DSK spat marked the climax a 2-hour long heated and angry debate. Sarkozy repeatedly accused his rival of lying. Hollande attacked Sarkozy saying “you are always so content with yourself. French people are less so.”

Both candidates sought to distance themselves from Strauss- Kahn. “I know him less well than you,” Sarkozy said. Hollande replied: “I don’t know him.”

Sarkozy is behind Hollande in the polls. French voters cast their ballots on May 6.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at; Mark Deen in Paris at

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