News / Europe

Aubry Concedes French Socialist Primary

Candidate for the French Socialist Party presidential election Martine Aubry, center, arrives in Paris during the second round of the party's primary election to chose a candidate for the 2012 French presidential elections in Paris, October, 16, 2011.
Candidate for the French Socialist Party presidential election Martine Aubry, center, arrives in Paris during the second round of the party's primary election to chose a candidate for the 2012 French presidential elections in Paris, October, 16, 2011.

Former French Labor Minister Martine Aubry has conceded defeat to Francois Hollande in the Socialist Party primary election.

Aubry gave up Sunday when partial results gave her 44 percent of the vote compared to 56 percent for Hollande, who won last week's first round.

She congratulated her challenger and said she will put all her energy into making sure Hollande defeats Mr. Sarkozy in next year's general election.

France's presidential election season is swinging into high gear, with partial results showing Francois Hollande easily winning the primaries of the main opposition Socialist Party.  Analysts say the left has serious chance of beating incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy next year.  

Ask Principal, a Corsican hospital worker in his '50s, what his main worry is these days and the answer is, "the economy and unemployment."

Principal says his 21-year-old daughter cannot find a job.  He says Europe's spreading financial crisis is beginning to hurt, and he believes the left is the best choice for France.  Principal voted for Francois Hollande, who ran against fellow Socialist Martine Aubry, in the second round of primaries on Sunday.

Jean Maestrali, who owns a restaurant in this seaside Corsican town, also votes Socialist.  But he abstained from casting his ballot this time around, because his chosen candidate, former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is not running.

Maestri says Strauss-Kahn is the only man capable of beating Mr. Sarkozy.  But Strauss-Kahn's political career was derailed earlier this year by sexual assault charges.

The Socialists have not won a presidential election here in nearly two decades.  But Philippe Moreau Defarges, of the French Institute of International Relations, is among a number of analysts who believe that might change. "It is clear that many French maybe would like to have a new power, a new kind of government.  That is why maybe by putting in power a new camp will be very attractive for many French people," he said.

Mr. Sarkozy's popularity has been at record lows for months.  Government spending cuts, aimed to slice France's high deficit, have only fueled public discontent, prompting strikes and demonstrations.  "The economy will dominate all the presidential election.  It is clear today the main issue is economics," he said.

Mr. Hollande is trying to cast himself as a centrist, someone who is capable of rallying French of different views around his ticket.  But Mr. Sarkozy is known as a good fighter when the chips are down.  

And as Moreau Defarges notes, the campaign is only just beginning.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs