Destinations Magazine

French Politics: Déjà Vu

By Stizzard
French politics: Déjà vu Did you miss me?

WHEN the French voted in 2000 to shorten their presidential term from seven years to five, the result was to accelerate the rhythm of political life. The next presidential election is not due until 2017, but the race is already under way, the more so after two party-leadership elections this weekend. On November 29th Nicolas Sarkozy, who was president in 2007-12, was elected head of the centre-right UMP. The next day, Marine Le Pen was re-elected leader of the populist National Front. The contours of the next presidential contest are beginning to take shape.Mr Sarkozy’s result was decisive but not crushing. Party members gave him 65% of the vote, well below the 85% he won when he first ran for the leadership in 2004. His closest rival, Bruno Le Maire, a former minister, secured fully 29%, better than expected. With a tireless campaign across the country, Mr Le Maire earned some support on his own account. But he also drew an anti-Sarkozy vote from those wishing to block the former president’s comeback. They want either Alain Juppé or François Fillon, both former prime ministers, as the party’s candidate in 2017…


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