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Segolene: My Move

  • January 4th, 2008
  • Posted by 7thmin

segolene-royal.jpgThe French Socialist Party politician Segolene Royal today (4.1.08) confirmed her intention to contest the Party presidency this year, positioning herself to again stand for President of France in 2012.

Ms Royal was defeated in the May presidential elections by Nicolas Sarkozy, but when the Socialist Party rebounded, making gains in legislative elections a month later (18.6.07), she announced the publication of a book about national leadership, her separation from her partner of 25 years Francois Hollande – and the plan to nominate for the top party post.

It was a challenge to several men who form the party’s senior leadership group, including Mr Hollande, the father of her four children and also the incumbent Socialist President, whose term ends this year.

Although best candidate from the point of view of opinion poll support, Segolene Royal was publicly criticised by members of the socialist leadership as a lightweight and blamed for the electoral loss to Mr Sarkozy.

The Socialist Party has deep left-right divisions; it shares a reputation with its conservative opponents for permitting official corruption while in office, and is hampered electorally by economic policies that would retain extensive state management.

Ms Royal contends she is the best placed to renovate the party and its message, to get more electoral success, and this week was forecasting a vigorous campaign in the French municipal elections in March.

Opposition critics of Mr Sarkozy’s charismatic style have been calling it “bling-bling” and “narcissistic”, and autocratic on policy initiatives, e.g. unilateral steps towards more support for America in the Middle East.