Segolene Royal in bid for Socialist nomination ahead of 2012 election
Former Socialist Party presidential candidate Segolene Royal announced on Monday that she will seek her party's nomination again in 2012 with the goal of unseating President Nicolas Sarkozy, who beat Royal to win the presidency in a 2007 run-off.
AFP - France's former presidential candidate Segolene Royal announced Monday she will seek again her Socialist Party's nomination in the 2012 election, with the left confident of unseating unpopular President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In an interview with two regional newspapers Royal, 57, was asked if she would stand in the Socialist primaries in the autumn of next year.
"I have thought about it long and hard. It is time to proceed with clarity and simplicity: the answer is yes," she responded.
Sarkozy of the centre-right UMP party beat Royal in the 2007 run-off vote by about two million votes. But his popularity has plumbed the depths in the wake of scandals and unpopular pension and economic reforms, along with a sluggish economy.
Royal said she was announcing her candidacy because she knew from experience that it takes more than a few months to prepare for a run.
Her candidacy would be an exercise in convincing the French people "that together we must and can take our destiny in our hands," she told La Nouvelle Republique du Centre Ouest and the Centre Press, two papers in the Poitou-Charentes region where she is regional president.
The 2011 Socialist primary is seen chiefly as a contest between two other heavyweights from the French left, Royal's long-time rival and current party leader Martine Aubry and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund -- both of them have not officially entered the race.
Royal is the fifth person to officially declare as a candidate in the Socialist primary although the deadline is not until June.