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Buffet to serve 4th term as Communist Party chief

Latest update : 2008-12-14

Marie-George Buffet has been re-elected head of the French Communist Party for a fourth time, after receiving 68% of the votes from some 800 delegates gathered for the party's 34th congress. Buffet has led the party since 2002.

AFP - Marie-George Buffet was on Sunday re-elected head of the French Communist Party for a fourth time, joining the current crop of women leaders of several political parties in France.
   
Buffet received 68 percent of the votes of some 800 delegates gathered for the once-powerful party's 34th congress held at La Defense business district in the Paris suburbs.
   
The 59-year-old first took over sole leadership of the left-wing party in 2002. She was chosen again for a three-year term in 2003 and in 2006.
   
In the last presidential election in 2007, Buffet received just 1.93 percent of the vote in the first round, the poorest showing ever for a French Communist candidate.
   
Buffet had already announced that the party would be led by a collegial group of six to 10 members and that a new leader might be chosen in a year or two as she did not expect to go to the end of her new mandate.
   
The French Communist Party (PCF) was founded in 1920 by members of French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), the precursor to today's Socialist Party, who backed the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
   
After World War II it became so popular that many believed that a Communist takeover of France was imminent.
   
Communists were given four ministries after the Socialist Francois Mitterrand was elected French President in 1981, but its influence has declined steadily since then.
   
Last month French Socialists chose a woman for party leader for the first time, Martine Aubry, who won by a slim margin over former presidential candidate Segolene Royal.
   
The ecologist party, the Greens, this month re-elected 33-year-old Cecile Duflot as their leader, while the female leader of the far-left Lutte Ouvriere party handed over the reins to 38-year-old Nathalie Arthaud this week.
 

Date created : 2008-12-14

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