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French Socialists welcome public before crucial vote

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-09-18

France’s Socialist Party flung open the doors of its Paris headquarters on Saturday, inviting the public to look around, take part in a mock vote and go home with a mountain of promotional paraphernalia, just weeks before its crucial primary vote.

France’s Socialist Party opened its doors to the public on Saturday in an attempt to garner attention ahead of its impending primary poll, which will see non-party members allowed to vote for their preferred presidential nominee for the first time.

The real vote opens on October 9 and will conclude a week later. Anybody on the electoral role who is willing to pledge their allegiance to the political left can choose between the six candidates in the running to face President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s presidential election.

Just six months ago it was widely believed that Dominique Strauss-Kahn would win the primary by a landslide and go on to crush Sarkozy in the election. Shamed out of the race by his arrest over rape allegations in New York, no other Socialist candidate has managed to fill his shoes.

While François Hollande (former domestic partner of Ségolène Royal, who is also running) has emerged as the frontrunner, he is criticised for his lacklustre appearance. Saturday’s event was part of a wider drive to shine the spotlight on the Socialists ahead of next month’s primary.

Date created : 2011-09-17

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