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'Socialist Left factions in dire straits in Paris'
Paris mayor Betrand Delanoë has called Socialist party militants to vote for his rival Martine Aubry during Thursday’s election to choose the party’s new leader. On Sunday, the race’s former front runner had announced he was stepping down, but withheld from giving his supporters voting instructions, a sure sign the bitter climate that plagued the weekend’s negotiations between himself and the former employment minister.
In a letter addressed to all socialist militants in the aftermath of the party’s annual congress in Reims, Delanoë wrote that he had “made up his mind to support Aubry’s candidacy” and called to “vote massively in her favour”. He claims that “the very identity of the Socialist party is at stake”, adding that militants have a “huge responsibility” to elect the right person.
When party members first voted on Nov. 6, Bertrand Delanoë’s proposed motion came in second, behind that led by former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal. The motion led by Lille mayor Martine Aubry came in a close third.
Despite her relative popularity among grassroots militants, Royal is detested by other leading figures in the party and found herself isolated after the initial vote. However, Aubry and Delanoë did not succeed at first in presenting a united front against their rival, even after an intense weekend of power-sharing talks.