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France

Norwegian-born Eva Joly to run for French presidency

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-13

French-Norwegian judge Eva Joly (pictured), famous for fighting anti-corruption cases, has won the Green party’s nomination to run for the French presidency in 2012 after defeating the other candidate, former TV host Nicolas Hulot.

REUTERS - Norwegian-born Eva Joly, a formidable former judge who came to France as an au pair in the 1960's, will run for French president in 2012 as the Greens' candidate after winning her party's nomination on Tuesday.

Results of a ballot of 23,000 Greens showed the 67-year-old, who has dual French and Norwegian nationality, took 58.16 percent of the second-round vote, beating former television host Nicolas Hulot who took 41.34 percent.
 
The Greens are only likely to take a marginal share of the vote in next year's two-stage presidential election, but any votes they win in the first round would chip away at the support base of the ruling conservatives and the main left-wing opposition.
 
"In Germany, ecologists have become the second (political) force. It is with that ambition that I am launching my campaign," Joly told supporters in a speech.
 
President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing a tough battle for reelection next year, with most polls predicting the left could defeat him in a tight race.
 
An Ipsos-Logic opinion poll published on Tuesday showed Joly could win between 7 percent and 9 percent of votes in the first round of the election on April 22, depending on which candidate runs for the main opposition Socialist Party.
 
Joly's entry into the race could silence critics who have mocked her Nordic accent and bohemian background. Born in Oslo in 1943 into a farming family, she did a string of odd jobs on moving to France, before studying law and political science.
 
The diminutive politician has shown drive and ambition since her days as an anti-corruption judge, once speaking of herself as a "bulldozer" in a reference to the force of character that made her a successful prosecutor from the 1990s onwards.
 
She built up a solid legal career, working on a now-famous investigation into corruption at the former French oil firm Elf which revealed graft at the heart of French political activity in Africa, and helped forge her reputation as incorruptible and unafraid of influential politicians.
 
Hulot carries none of Joly's career gravitas. He became a household name as presenter of the "Ushuaia" nature programme during the 1980's and 90's, a show which inspired the launch of an eponymous range of tropical fruit-flavoured shower gels.

 

Date created : 2011-07-13

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