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 10/19/2006 : Royal leaves Socialist 'elephants' behind

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Nombre de messages : 370
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Localisation : Val d'oise
Date d'inscription : 05/10/2006

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MessageSujet: 10/19/2006 : Royal leaves Socialist 'elephants' behind   10/19/2006 : Royal leaves Socialist 'elephants' behind Icon_minitimeLun 30 Oct - 16:29

Royal leaves Socialist 'elephants' behind


RIVAL Socialists failed to stop the Ségolène Royal juggernaut during the party's first live televised debate, making it increasingly certain that she will become the Left's official candidate in next year's presidential elections.

Ms Royal appears to be leaving her rival male contenders for the Socialist candidacy in the dust, currently enjoying a 39 per cent lead in the polls over her nearest opponent, former finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
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She faced Mr Strauss-Kahn and former prime minister Laurent Fabius in the first of six debates between the contenders and proved she could hold her own against the Socialist old guard or "elephants", as they are popularly known in France.

Although observers were unanimous that no clear victor had emerged from Tuesday night's debate, the very fact that Ms Royal emerged unscathed bodes well for her chances of carrying off the Socialist candidacy at next month's vote by party supporters. According to polls, she is the only Socialist who would beat the centre-right's likely candidate, interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Critics have long accused Ms Royal, a former environment minister and minister for the family, of being a political light-weight, strong on style but weak on substance.

They warned she would be shown up once she was forced to confront more experienced politicians such as Mr Fabius and Mr Strauss-Kahn.

And both men have been pinning their hopes on the series of three televised and three public debates which represent their only chance of overturning Ms Royal's huge lead.

Weeks were spent agreeing on a formula for the debates, with Mr Strauss-Kahn and Mr Fabius arguing for lengthy televised confrontations and Ms Royal pushing for the encounters to be less aggressive and more low-key.

Ms Royal had warned that too many debates could backfire by damaging the party and making it appear divided in the eyes of the electorate. However, her arguments encouraged widespread speculation, fuelled by her rivals, that she was a poor debater who was unable to cope with confrontation.

However, to the delight of her supporters, she proved the critics wrong.

"Ségolène Royal was running the biggest risk because she's the least experienced and because she leads the race," said veteran RTL radio commentator Alain Duhamel. "I thought she didn't make any mistakes."

The left-wing daily Libération said: "She did better than resist, it was a draw."
The epitome of French chic

SÉGOLÈNE Royal must surely rank as France's most glamorous mother of four.

Dubbed "the Socialist in Stilettos" and recently voted the sixth sexiest woman in the world by readers of France's FHM magazine, the 53-year-old possesses a chic mane of chestnut hair, impeccable skin, aristocratic cheekbones, sparkling eyes and a beautiful smile.

Critics claim her remarkably photogenic face is her only ticket to the Elysée Palace, and

one journalist said she "promises to be the hottest thing on the international diplomatic circuit since Joan of Arc, six centuries ago".

Perhaps Ms Royal took this to heart; for her first televised debate, she wore a knitted grey number which one newspaper unchivalrously compared to Joan of Arc's chain mail.

10/19/2006 : Royal leaves Socialist 'elephants' behind Segolene369

Source : http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1546022006
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