France's Socialists have formally nominated Segolene Royal as their candidate for next year's presidential election.
In a speech at a special party congress in Paris, Royal told a cheering crowd of delegates that together they were opening a beautiful chapter of French history.
She vowed to eradicate all forms of injustice in France if she is elected its first female president.
The formal nomination Sunday followed a vote by more than 200,000 party members on November 16. Royal defeated two male rivals from the Socialist old guard - former prime minister Laurent Fabius and former finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
France's governing conservatives have yet to pick their presidential candidate but the front-runner is Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.
The presidential election is scheduled for April 22 with the second round, if necessary, on May 6.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.