Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Prosecutor says captives were killed for organ harvesting in Kosovo

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

France

Sarkozy prepares cabinet reshuffle after electoral rout

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-03-22

A day after France's ruling UMP party suffered a drubbing in regional elections, French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with his prime minister, François Fillon, amid expectations of a cabinet reshuffle.

France braced for a cabinet reshuffle on Monday as President Nicolas Sarkozy met with his prime minister, François Fillon, a day after the ruling UMP party was savagely beaten in regional elections

The centre-right UMP picked up just 35.4 percent of the vote in the second round of voting in regional elections on Sunday, compared to 54.1 percent for the Socialist Party and its left-wing allies.

Soon after the results came through, Sarkozy’s top advisor Claude Guéant told French media that the cabinet reshuffle would be “slight” and that the government planned to continue its reform agenda.

Labour minister in the line of fire

Labour Minister Xavier Darcos seemed set to leave the government ahead of a tough round of negotiations with France’s powerful unions on the subject of pension reform, which Sarkozy has earmarked as his next major undertaking.

In Sunday’s elections, Darcos secured a mere 28 percent of the vote in his region, to his Socialist rival's 56.3 percent, further denting his credibility.

Reporting from the Elysee presidential palace, FRANCE 24's James André said others who might soon find themselves bumped from the government include junior ministers Fadela Amara, who deals with urban affairs, and Valerie Létard, in charge of green technologies.

Sarkozy was elected in 2007 on a pledge to reinvigorate France’s sagging economy. But his reforms have met with stiff resistance from the opposition as well as from ordinary French citizens struggling to cope with the effects of the global financial crisis.

Some of the toughest measures on Sarkozy’s reform agenda include a plan to raise the retirement age and amend pensions for public sector workers.

Back to right-wing basics

Speaking on Sunday shortly after the results of the regional elections were announced, Prime Minister Fillon admitted that the election results showed the government had "failed to convince the French public".

While the UMP suffered a drubbing in Sunday’s polls, the far-right National Front won more than nine percent of the vote, sparking questions about a resurgence of the anti-immigration party.

The UMP, according to FRANCE 24’s French politics specialist, Roselyne Lefebvre, is now stuck between a united left and a resurgent far-right National Front party. “The right -- and especially Nicolas Sarkozy -- has come out of the election weakened,” she said.

FRANCE 24's André suggested the government may seek to firm up the right wing in the cabinet reshuffle.

He said, “the so-called ‘ouverture’ ministers – those left-wing or centrist ministers that Nicolas Sarkozy went to pick and choose in other parties – may well lose their seats.”

 

Date created : 2010-03-22

  • FRENCH REGIONAL ELECTIONS

    Left-wing alliance trumps Sarkozy’s party in regional polls

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French press round-up on Sarkozy's elections setback

    Read more

  • Full coverage of the 2010 French regional elections

    Read more

COMMENT(S)