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An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2012-11-20

UMP leadership battle: 'Copé en deux'

The French papers lead on just one story: the narrow win for Jean-François Copé in a harrowing UMP leadership battle. He got just 98 votes more than rival François Fillon to succeed Nicolas Sarkozy as UMP chairman. The press concludes the fiasco on the right plays into the hands of the ruling Socialists and the far-right National Front. That's the focus for this look at the French press on Tuesday 20th November, 2012.

The left-wing daily Libération leads with a photo of a smiling Jean-François Copé, now chairman of the opposition UMP after a messy and nasty leadership battle.

It argues the fiasco undermines the party’s constant battle cry that the Socialists are not able to govern.
 
The far-left daily L'Humanité headlines: "L'UMP Copé en deux". A pun on the name Copé and the word 'coupé' (i.e. 'cut'). The message is that the party is split down the middle.  
 
The main right-wing paper Le Figaro says that Jean-Francois Copé won by a whisker, just 98 votes out of 300,000 party faithful who were eligible to vote.
 
That paper’s editorial argues the international community can only wonder at what is going on in France when the two main parties, the Socialists four years ago and the UMP now, cannot organise their leadership battles without getting mired in accusations of fraud and insults.
 
The Catholic daily La Croix says the UMP has entered a crisis period after what was a battle of wills.

And one of the main dailies, Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui-en-France, is saying the battle will leave scars. It points to a court appearance later this week for Copé's predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. 

By Nicholas RUSHWORTH

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