Coming up

Don't miss




Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more


Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more


2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more


Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more


Politics: parties under pressure

Read more


In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more


Party awaits verdict on fraud allegations


Video by FRANCE 24

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-25

France's fractured Socialist Party will hear Tuesday if they have a new leader, after a bitter contest between Segolene Royal, who ran for president against Nicolas Sarkozy last year, and Lille mayor Martine Aubry.

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


France's opposition Socialists were to hear on Tuesday whether they have a new leader as a bruising dispute over a leadership vote threatened to split the party.

Martine Aubry, the mayor of Lille and architect of France's much-maligned 35-hour work week, edged out former presidential candidate Segolene Royal by 42 votes to win the ballot by party members on Friday.

But Royal, who lost to right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy in last year's presidential elections, is contesting the result and has called for a new vote.

A party commission convened on Monday to examine complaints from both camps and the party's national council was to meet later Tuesday to hear its findings and decide on the winner.

"There are thousands of contested votes," Royal said late Monday on French television station Canal Plus. "I really don't see how we can avoid going back to the voters."

The feuding has pushed the already deeply-divided Socialist Party closer to a formal split between the leftist old guard backing Aubry and Royal's centre-left followers.

Sarkozy's right-wing supporters meanwhile are chuckling with delight as the Socialists have gone after each other's throats.

The squabbling marked a dramatic turn for the Socialists since their heyday when Francois Mitterrand held the presidency from 1981 to 1995, and Socialists led governments until as late as 2002.

The party now holds a minority in parliament but controls 21 of France's 22 regional councils and also key cities such as Paris, Lyon and Toulouse.

Royal's camp has threatened to take the dispute to court, raising the prospect of a protracted leadership battle.

The new party leader will be in pole position to be Socialist standard-bearer for the 2012 presidential election.

The election will also mark the first time that a woman is chosen to lead the Socialist Party.

Aubry won 50.02 percent of the vote against 49.98 percent for Royal, according to official results released by the party.

Royal had campaigned on a promise to reshape France's left by opening the party's doors to a younger membership and possibly forging an alliance with centrists.

Aubry has vowed to keep the party "solidly anchored on the left," warning that a shift to the centre would alienate its traditional voter base at a time when the financial crisis has revived leftist state-driven economics.

The party council was to meet at 1700 GMT after the commission probing the disputed vote holds a final meeting.

Deputy Vincent Peillon, a Royal supporter, said Aubry's margin had been reduced to just four votes after the commission reviewed the tally.

But Aubry's lieutenant, Francois Lamy, has accused Royal of trying to mount a "media coup" and suggested that the party council, most of whom backed Aubry in the battle, will side with her.

The Socialist leader in parliament, Jean-Marc Ayrault, called on the two women to call a truce and come to agreement.

"We must stop this totally ridiculous soap opera," Ayrault told French television. "Whoever leads the Socialist Party tomorrow will not be able to do so without the others."


Date created : 2008-11-25