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Jailed IMF Chief Under Pressure To Quit


The front pages of French and foreign newspapers are dominated by the arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces growing pressure to quit as head of the IMF after his arrest on attempted rape charges.

The battle to succeed Strauss-Kahn, who is alone in a cell at New York's notorious Rikers Island jail, heated up when China, Brazil, and South Africa challenged Europe's long-standing grip on a job that is pivotal to the world economy.

The IMF chief is expected to remain in the jail, known for its gang violence, at least until his next appearance in court on May 20, when his lawyers may again request bail.

The leader of the French governing UMP party, Jean-Francois Cope, said today a replacement for Strauss-Kahn as head of the IMF must be named "in the coming days."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Strauss-Kahn will have to "make his own decision about his future but clearly he is now in a very, very difficult position."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had said Strauss-Kahn "is obviously not in a position to run" the IMF.

It could be six months before a trial begins, legal experts said. A law enforcement source said Strauss-Kahn was under suicide watch as a precautionary measure.

The IMF said it had not been in touch with Strauss-Kahn since his arrest, but believed it would be important to do so "in due course." Two IMF board sources told Reuters the board would ask Strauss-Kahn whether he planned to continue in his post.

compiled from agency reports