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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Segolene Royal wins primary election in France

CSMS Magazine Staff WritersIn a giant leap to becoming the country’s first woman president, Segolene Royal won a commending victory over her rivals last night during the French Socialist Party primary election. Segolene, 53, pledged a new style of leadership as she spoke before a crowd of supporters. “The world has changed. France has moved, so politics must change,” she said in a speech in Melle in the western Poitou-Charentes region, where she is regional president. Over 60 percent of the twenty-two thousand party members who voted last night endorsed Royal as their party candidate. “I do not only want to embody this profound change but to build it with you,” she said.Royal is now presenting herself as a new face in French politic, a face willing to listen to the concerns of ordinary people despite the fact she has been in politic for years, including personal advisor to late French president, Francois Mitterand. Her victory has enraged her opponents who claim that her inexperience in foreign diplomacy would render a victory in the national election scheduled for next year all but impossible. “The French are ready for reform, but they’re not going to consent to decisions imposed on them without their involvement,” a smiling Royal told supporters on Friday. The scale of her win over former Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn and former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius confounded leftist critics who had portrayed her as a lightweight populist ready to throw the party’s convictions out the window.Segolene’s victory last night has set the tone for next year’s election as it places her to face “la droite” likely candidate, hard-line Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. An Ipsos opinion poll published in the weekly Le Point on Thursday predicted a 50-50 draw in a runoff between Royal and Sarkozy, leader of the ruling rightist party, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).Many observers believe that before confronting Sarkozy, however, she will need to rebuild a splintered left deeply scarred by the 2002 presidential election, when Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin was knocked out by far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.The task might be difficult because she has campaigned on positions at odds with the traditional party line, such as questioning the 35-hour work week or calling for boot camps for young delinquents—positions associated with the right.The so-called Socialist Party is nothing but a bourgeois Social Democratic Party totally committed to upholding the status quo, including maintaining French domination in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian ocean and the Caribbean. And if the arrogance of Sarkozy has forced the plight of millions of African immigrants to the spotlight in France, one has to acknowledge that several years of “Socialist” governments did nothing to alleviate their sufferings.

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