Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Bickering Socialists launch probe into vote

Latest update : 2008-11-24

France's feuding Socialists on Monday began examining allegations of irregularities in a party leadership vote that saw Martine Aubry, architect of the 35-hour work week, beat failed presidential candidate Ségolène Royal by a handful of votes.

View our special coverage: 'Desperately seeking top Socialist'

 

Watch our report: 'In the heart of the "all but Ségo" front'

 

Also read: Socialist leadership battle drags on


PARIS - France's stricken Socialist Party launched a review on Monday of its disputed leadership vote in an attempt to stop the chaos that has broken out since Martine Aubry won a razor-thin victory over Segolene Royal.

Party officials said on Saturday that Aubry, the woman behind the 35-hour working week law, beat Royal, the Socialist candidate in last year's presidential election, by 0.04 percentage points, or 42 votes, in Friday's leadership election.

Royal disputes the result and wants a re-run, and the feuding factions are on the brink of lawsuits with each side accusing the other of cheating and slander.

Infighting has paralysed the Socialists as an opposition force to right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy since Royal lost badly to him in May 2007, and the acrimony has reached a new pitch since the inconclusive leadership vote.

The party now looks at risk of falling apart altogether, or becoming completely ungovernable and lurching from crisis to crisis, unable to mount a credible challenge to Sarkozy in the next presidential election in 2012.

A commission of party officials, including three representatives each from the Royal and Aubry camps, started on Monday a detailed review of the results of Friday's vote.
It will pass its findings to the party's ruling body, which must say on Tuesday whether the result is valid or not.

"I would like the commission to say ... whether a new vote is needed, either because the figures are unclear, or because some information is not available, or because the result is much too tight," Royal said on France Inter radio on Monday.

She pledged to accept the result, even if she were declared the loser, but only if the reports of irregularities at some voting stations were fully investigated and the gap between her and Aubry were sufficiently wide. She declined to say what she would consider a wide enough gap.

Aubry, the daughter of former European Commission President Jacques Delors, has claimed outright victory in the race and called on party members at the weekend to put their differences behind them and rally to her cause.

Grassroots supporters of the telegenic Royal see her as a force for renewal capable of enthusing the masses, while her opponents accuse her of lacking depth and consistency. Aubry is backed by the "elephants", the veteran party heavyweights.

The Socialists have lost the last three presidential elections, two to Jacques Chirac and one to Sarkozy. They have been plagued by divisions since their uncontested leader, former President Francois Mitterrand, died in 1996.

Royal, who was hampered in her 2007 presidential campaign by a lack of support from the elephants, had hoped to take over the party and unify it behind her by 2012, but hopes of renewed party harmony have been shattered.

Date created : 2008-11-24

COMMENT(S)