Senior Correspondent, France
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Oct 17, 2011

French left sends Hollande into presidential battle

PARIS (Reuters) – Francois Hollande will try to unseat France’s conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy and return a Socialist to the Elysee Palace for the first time in 17 years in an election just over six months from now.

Hollande, a moderate who says France must balance its books without sacrificing the welfare state or shrinking the number of state-employed school teachers, won a U.S.-style primary ballot on Sunday to designate the Socialist Party’s presidential challenger.

Oct 16, 2011

Hollande to run for presidency for French left

PARIS (Reuters) – Francois Hollande convincingly won the French Socialist Party’s presidential primary election on Sunday to become the candidate who will try to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy next April and return a Socialist to the Elysee Palace for the first time in 17 years.

With about two-thirds of votes counted, Hollande’s victory in a runoff ballot against Martine Aubry was resounding, with his score topping 56 percent.

Oct 16, 2011

French left picks presidential runner, Hollande favoured

PARIS (Reuters) – French left-wingers vote on Sunday to designate the presidential candidate whose mission will be to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy in an election next year, and the favorite is Francois Hollande, a moderate Socialist Party veteran little known beyond France.

In a U.S.-style primary, the first of its kind in France, voters choose between Hollande, who has never held a national government post, and Martine Aubry, one-time labor minister, architect of France’s 35-hour week and daughter of the former European Commission President Jacques Delors.

Oct 14, 2011

Hollande lands hardliner boost for French primary

PARIS, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Francois Hollande received a boost
in his campaign to become the French Socialist Party’s candidate
in the 2012 presidential election, winning the backing on Friday
of a hardliner who rails against banks and globalisation.

Ahead of a primary election runoff against Martine Aubry on
Sunday, Hollande secured public support from Arnaud Montebourg,
a 48-year-old lawyer who took 17 percent of the vote in the
first ballot, transforming him into something of a kingmaker.

Oct 13, 2011

French Strauss-Kahn sex assault probe dropped

PARIS (Reuters) – French public prosecutors dropped an investigation on Thursday into a writer’s accusation of attempted rape against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn due to lack of evidence.

The Paris public prosecutor’s office said evidence existed suggesting sexual assault but a prosecution on that lesser charge was not possible under the statute of limitations. The incident at the centre of the complaint dates back to 2003.

Oct 13, 2011

French sex assault probe against Strauss-Kahn shelved

PARIS (Reuters) – French public prosecutors dropped an investigation on Thursday into a writer’s accusation of attempted rape against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn due to lack of evidence.

The Paris public prosecutor’s office said evidence existed suggesting sexual assault but a prosecution on that lesser charge was not possible under the statute of limitations. The incident at the center of the complaint dates back to 2003.

Oct 11, 2011

Candidates say they will not veer left to win French primary

PARIS, Oct 11 (Reuters) – The two candidates vying for the
French Socialist party’s presidential nomination said on Tuesday
they would not shift their policies to the left after a
surprisingly strong showing by a populist challenger in a first
round vote.

Party leader Francois Hollande and former government
minister Martine Aubry are due to face each other in a runoff
primary election on Oct 15 after placing first and second on
Sunday in the first round of a vote to win the nomination.

Oct 11, 2011

French primary finalists stonewall hardliner

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s two Socialist frontrunners to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France sought to convince voters on Tuesday that they could assuage fears of globalisation without surrendering to the demands of a popular hardliner.

Days from a vote that will decide which of them runs in the April presidential election, Socialist Party favourite Francois Hollande and runoff rival Martine Aubry vowed to stand firm as pressure mounted on them to adopt harder left-wing positions.

Oct 11, 2011

French primary finalists stonewall hardliner

PARIS, Oct 11 (Reuters) – France’s two Socialist
frontrunners to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France
sought to convince voters on Tuesday that they could assuage
fears of globalisation without surrendering to the demands of a
popular hardliner.

Days from a vote that will decide which of them runs in the
April presidential election, Socialist Party favourite Francois
Hollande and runoff rival Martine Aubry vowed to stand firm as
pressure mounted on them to adopt harder left-wing positions.

Oct 10, 2011

French Socialist primary set for tight runoff

PARIS (Reuters) – A strong showing by hardline leftist Arnaud Montebourg in France’s Socialist Party presidential primary has made the selection of a moderate candidate less of a certainty and could drag the party’s 2012 campaign further to the left.

Francois Hollande, a moderate who wants to curb the public deficit and foster closer European integration, won 39 percent in Sunday’s first round, beating Martine Aubry, a more old-school leftist. She secured 31 percent, according to results released on Monday with 86.5 percent of the vote counted.