Hollande’s Socialist Party to hold primary in January
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The national executive of the Socialist Party has announced that it will hold a ‘primary’ next January to decide on who will stand in the presidential elections next year.
According to reports today in the weekly Journal du Dimanche, the ‘primary’ will take place next January and will have two rounds on January 22 and January 29.
The primary is open to any candidate from the Belle Alliance populaire, a grouping of the Socialist Party, the Radical Left Party (Parti Radical de Gauche) and the Ecologists.
The secretary of the Socialist Party Jean-Christophe Cambadélis had already said on Friday that he would be opening the vote to “all citizens”, but later qualified that by indicating that only members of the Belle Alliance could stand.
According to Cambadélis, the sitting president, Francois Hollande, supports the decision to hold a primary and told Cambadélis that if was not capable of winning the support of the Socialist Party, how could he possibly expect to get the support of the French people.
Nominations for the primary will be accepted between December 1 and December 15.
Earlier this month, three French Socialists took their own party to court to force it to organise a primary election for next year's presidential poll.
The three activists - Yassir Hammoud, Barnabé Louche and Salem Aounit - filed a case on 12 May, basing it on party rules that say that the presidential candidate must be chosen by a primary "open to all citizens who adhere to the values of the Republic" to be held "at least one year before the presidential election".
The first round of France's next presidential election is to be held 23 April 2017 and, although the Socialists' national executive voted for a primary of all the left and ecologists on 9 April, it has not yet been held and no date has been announced for it.
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