- Title: FRANCE: French Socialists fail to elect new leader, second round to follow
- Date: 21st November 2008
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) NICOLAS ROUVUR, SOCIALIST PARTY MILITANT, SAYING: "She has a lot of charisma, which I think will be useful for beating Sarkozy the next time. At the same time I think she has ideas. Contrary to the stereotypes, I think she is far from stupid."
- Embargoed: 6th December 2008 11:19
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA8097E5G216ADRHUNOMPE4JWZ0
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: French socialists will need to vote in a second round to elect their new leader. Former presidential candidate Segolï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ne Royal topped rival Martine Aubry by more than 8 percentage points but failed to gain the needed 50 percent to win.
Former French presidential candidate Segolene Royal came first in a ballot to head France's Socialists Party on Thursday (November 20), but faces a run-off against rival Martine Aubry on Friday (November 21).
Royal received 43.1 percent of the votes to Aubry's 34.5 percent. A third candidate, Benoit Hamon, received 22.8 percent.
Crushed by their third defeat in a row including last year's presidential election, when Royal lost to Nicolas Sarkozy, the Socialists have been fighting amongst themselves and their conflicts risk tearing the party apart.
"I expect them to pay more attention to party activists and union members. I don't think that the Socialist Party can build a project or propose solutions to counter the right without heeding civil society, which it has not paid much attention to," said Elyse Catonnet, a Socialist Party activist.
Segolene Royal has been a polarizing figure in the contest to lead the party in a new direction.
"She has a lot of charisma, which I think will be useful for beating Sarkozy the next time. At the same time I think she has ideas.
Contrary to the stereotypes, I think she is far from stupid," said Nicolas Rouvur, another Socialist Party activist.
The winner will be the first woman to lead the party.
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