French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on members of his party to be a rock of solidity amid the crisis engulfing left-leaning rival for the presidency Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the current IMF managing director, as he faces charges of sexually attacking a hotel maid in New York.

Sarkozy made the comments at a weekly breakfast involving leaders of the Union for a Popular Movement party (UMP), according to Le Figaro.

In the current context, we should show composure, courage, unity, and I would add, dignity. We should be a rock of solidity to lead the country, he said.

Martine Aubry, a leader within the Socialist Party called on her party members to show unity, responsibility, and combativeness in the face of the scandal.

Aubry has said she was stunned and upset by the images shown on television of Strauss-Kahn being walked before photographers in handcuffs and in court, unshaven and looking tired.

Former Socialist minister of Justice Elizabeth Guigou called the display a brutality, of an unheard of violence and cruelty,

The heart can only tremble before these humiliating and poignant images of Strauss Khan, she said. She called it a horrible, global lynching.