Senior Correspondent, France
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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.

Oct 10, 2011

France’s Hollande faces close runoff for Socialist

PARIS (Reuters) – A strong showing by hardline leftist Arnaud Montebourg in France’s Socialist Party primary vote makes the selection of a moderate candidate less of a certainty and could drag the party’s 2012 presidential 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 vote, beating Martine Aubry, a more old-school leftist who secured 31 percent, according to results released Monday with 86.5 percent of the vote counted.

Oct 10, 2011

France’s Hollande faces close runoff for Socialist primary

PARIS (Reuters) – A strong showing by hardline leftist Arnaud Montebourg in France’s Socialist Party primary vote makes the selection of a moderate candidate less of a certainty and could drag the party’s 2012 presidential 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 vote, beating Martine Aubry, a more old-school leftist who secured 31 percent, according to results released Monday with 86.5 percent of the vote counted.

Oct 9, 2011

Hollande leads French left’s presidential primary

PARIS (Reuters) – Moderate left-wing candidate Francois Hollande led in a primary vote for the French Socialist Party’s presidential nomination Sunday, making him the favorite to unseat President Nicolas Sarkozy in April.

More than 1.5 million people voted nationwide in France’s first U.S.-style primary election to select a presidential candidate, which the Socialists say was inspired by the process that gave Barack Obama the momentum to take the White House.

Oct 9, 2011

French left votes on would-be president, Hollande

PARIS (Reuters) – Seven months from a presidential election, French voters flocked to the polls on Sunday to choose who will run for the opposition Socialist Party and the favourite was a moderate left-winger little known to the outside world, Francois Hollande.

It was the first open-door election primary in France and the Socialists hoped this would boost the legitimacy of their presidential candidate.

Oct 9, 2011

Presidential favourite Hollande set to win French

PARIS (Reuters) – Seven months from a presidential election, France voted on Sunday for the opposition Socialist Party’s candidate, with the favourite a moderate left-winger little known to the outside world — Francois Hollande.

Polls show Hollande beating Nicolas Sarkozy, who is expected to seek re-election, to become the first Socialist premier in the Elysee Palace for 17 years.

Oct 9, 2011

Hollande poised to top French Socialist primary

PARIS (Reuters) – Seven months from a French presidential election, voters may decide on Sunday who will run for the opposition Socialist Party, with the favourite a moderate left-winger little known to the outside world — Francois Hollande.

Inspired by the momentum that got Barack Obama to the White House, the main opposition party hopes its candidate will gain enhanced legitimacy from the country’s first open-door primary, where any voter who pays 1 euro ($1.35) and tribute to left-wing values can participate.

Oct 6, 2011

French left milks novelty of presidential primary

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Socialists have the wind in their sails less than seven months from a presidential election, buoyed by the novelty of an American-style primary and the airtime access it is giving them.

The presidential favorite is a Socialist, but there is more to it than opinion polls suggesting party veteran Francois Hollande — still relatively unknown outside France — would easily unseat the incumbent, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

Oct 3, 2011

Sarkozy election hopes brighter after rival’s exit

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s uncertain reelection prospects gained a small boost on Monday after popular former environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo, a centrist, said he would not run for president next April.

Borloo’s decision, announced on Sunday, reduces the risk that the conservative vote will be splintered at Sarkozy’s expense, although analysts cautioned against assuming moderate Borloo supporters would now rally behind the president.

Sep 22, 2011

Sarkozy on pre-election defensive as friends probed

PARIS, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Just as his popularity rating was
starting to look up, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s
pre-election position hit a potential snag on Thursday when a
powerful businessman friend was placed under investigation in a
corruption probe.

Nicolas Bazire, witness at Sarkozy’s 2008 wedding to singer
Carla Bruni, was one of two influential friends snared this week
by magistrates probing commissions from submarine sales to
Pakistan in the 1990s, and whether kickbacks from the sales were
used to finance political campaigns in France.