French Socialist Ségolène Royal paved way for Hollande victory
Politics in era of 'war on terror', economic crises -- a Work in Progress?
By Carolyn Bennett
French politician Marie-Ségolène Royal was the first woman in France to be nominated for the presidency by a major party. In 2007 she was the Socialist candidate in the French presidential election opposing Nicolas Sarkozy.
In 2008, at the twenty-second national congress, Royal ran in the Socialist Party’s election for First Secretary. In November of 2010, Royal announced her intention to again seek the Socialist Party’s nomination for the 2012 presidency. She is currently the president of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council, a former member of the National Assembly and former government minister. Royal is a prominent member of the French Socialist Party.
Francois Hollande’s turn
Thirty years the partner of Ségolène Royal, Francois Hollande began his political career as a student volunteer for François Mitterrand’s1974 presidential campaign. By the time Mitterrand was elected to the Elysée presidential palace in 1981, Hollande had become a special adviser to the newly-elected Socialist president and had served on the government spokesperson’s staff. Hollande later served as representative of the central Corrèze region and mayor of the town of Tulle. Royal and Hollande (now ex-partners) were described as a politically active couple. In 1992, she is Environment Minister and enters the national political stage; in 1997, Hollande becomes Socialist Party leader.
In 2011, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is expected to be the Socialist Party’s 2012 presidential nominee until his disgrace (arrested in New York City on sexual assault charges); and in the fall of that year, Hollande wins the French Socialist primary. In May he challenges incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and wins the French presidency.
Hollande is described as having been born into a middle class family in the northern French city of Rouen, his mother a social worker and “former Socialist militant.” He studied at one of France’s leading business schools and at the “prestigious Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris” [or ENA]; during the latter period, he met Ségolène Royal.
“We are here … to change the destiny of our country,” he is quoted on the road to the Elysée presidential palace. As with all contenders, President-elect Francois Hollande delivered priorities and promises.
To reduce the salaries of the president and members of the government by 30 percent
To create a tax on financial transactions
To make education a real national priority …, reduce the numbers of young people who leave schools in France without qualifications.
To accelerate withdrawal of the 3,600 French troops currently deployed in Afghanistan.
To lead by making difficult decisions, “not simply reacting to a tragedy”
At his Election Day victory, Hollande said France voted for 'change' but he had a heavy responsibility to drag the country out of economic crisis.
He vowed that France would no longer be fractured, divided or riven (shattered, torn down) by discrimination or those in the poor high-rise suburbs and abandoned rural areas cast aside.”
Though the president-elect vowed to begin his reforms as soon as he takes office on May 15, he has acknowledged “he will have ‘no state of grace’ leading a country [that is] crippled by public debt and in economic crisis (an unemployment rate close to 10 percent), gaping trade deficit, stuttering growth and declining industry.”
Sources and notes
Marie-Ségolène Royal notes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%A9gol%C3%A8ne_Royal
Hollande's victory: The tortoise who beat the hare, MAY 7, 2012, http://www.france24.com/en/20120507-hollande-victory-tortoise-who-beat-h...
“Hollande vows to ‘change destiny of France’” http://www.france24.com/en/20120122-francois-hollande-president-france-s...
Socialist Party presidential candidate Francois Hollande kickstarts his bid for the Elysée on Sunday with the first major speech of his campaign. Before a 15,000-strong crowd of supporters, Hollande said he was ready to serve the French people, http://www.france24.com/en/20120122-francois-hollande-president-france-s...
“French president François Hollande promises ‘a new start’ for Europe — After victory over Nicolas Sarkozy, Socialist says he will fight back against German-led austerity measures,” May 7, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/06/francois-hollande-becomes-fr...
Avenue des Champs-Elysees, Arch of Triumph, Paris, France Photographic Print
Socialist contenders France, http://pamela.poole.free.fr/frogblog/?m=200811
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Labels: Francois Hollande, French Socialists, politics in era of war on terror and economic crises, presidential promises, Ségolène Royal