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Socialists desperate for show of unity

Latest update : 2008-08-30

The French Socialist Party holds its annual summer conference in the seaside town of La Rochelle, two months ahead of the party's congress, where a new leader will be designated. Despite calls for unity, the power struggle is on.

French Socialists gathered for their traditional summer conference in the seaside town of La Rochelle on Friday, amid bitter infighting over who should take over the party’s leadership.

The meeting comes two months ahead of the party’s congress in Reims, where a successor to the outgoing first secretary François Hollande will be designated.

In a bid to avert the damage wrought by internal quarrels, Hollande opened the conference by calling on “each and everyone’s responsibility” to ensure the party displays a “united front” before increasingly sceptical voters.  

In principle, the party’s top brass and some 4,000 militants will be debating “a credible alternative for France and Europe”.

Yet, media will be on the lookout for signs of the power struggle currently tearing France’s leading opposition party apart.

While the list of currents within the party is seemingly endless, two factions have grabbed the headlines in recent weeks, led by the Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë and last year’s presidential candidate Ségolène Royale – both of whom have recently made public their bid for the party’s leadership.

 

Date created : 2008-08-29

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